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PRINCETON, N. J. 



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THE ORIGm AND DEVELOPMENT 



OF 



RELIGIOUS BELIEF 



C'^^ 



RIVINGTONS 

ILontlon Waterloo Place 

©iforti U'lg^i Street 

€:ambriligc Trinity Street 



I 9 



THE 



OlUGm AND DEVELOPMENT 



OF 



RELIGIOUS BELIEF 



BY 



/ 

S. BARING-GOULD, M.A. 

AUTHOR OF "CaBIOUS MYTHS OF THE MIDDLE AGES," "THE SILVER STORE," ETC. 



PART II 

CHRISTIANITY 



RIVINGTONS 

Joui^on, (D.xfovi:), anb dTiuubriligc 

1870 



^0 the ^Tcmorn 



MY MOTHER 



PREFACE 



QTAETING from the facts of limnan nature and the 
laws they reveal to ns, as spread out before ns in 
history, can we attain to the existence of God, to Immorta- 
lity, and to the fundamental doctrine of Christianity, the 
Incarnation ? 

Hitherto Christianity has leaned, or has been represented 
as leaning, on authority, — on the authority of an infallible 
text, or of an inerrable Church. The inadequacy of either 
support has been repeatedly demonstrated, and as the 
props have been withdrawn, the faitli of many has fallen 
with a crash. The religious history of the Church exhibits 
three phases. The first when dogma appealed to men and 
met with a ready response, the second when dogma was 
forced on man by an authoritative society, and the third 
when dogma was insisted on, upon the authority of an 
infallible text. Men revolted against the Church, opposing 
the text against it, men revolt now against the text, and 
on what does dogma stand ? 

To this question I offer an answer in this volume. 
Unless Theology can be based on facts anterior to text or 
society, to facts in our own nature, ever new, but also ever 
old, it can never be placed in an unassailable position. 



viii PREFACE 



For if Christianity be true, it must l)e true to liuman 
nature and to liuman tliought. It must supply that to 
which Loth turn, hut which they cannot unassisted 
attain. 

" Kevelation," says a reviewer of my first volume, in the 
Edinhurgli Courant, " could never itself be made available 
or useful to man unless man were able to test its claims 
and recognise its adaptability to complete and satisfy the 
highest aspirations and the deepest longings of our nature. 
We start from a sense of insufficiency, a feeling that at 
present we are not what we should be ; that our nature 
desires, and is therefore capable of, fuller development and 
a higher career. And to every individual man the idti- 
mate test of the Eevelation which speaks in him, though 
external, is just whether or not it will meet this imper- 
fection, whether or not it will supply a positive to the 
negative in himself, whether it will or will not complement 
all his deficiencies. Eevelation does, or claims to do, this, 
and Christianity especially does so, by revealing the 
Infinite as united to the Finite, as one with it in nature, 
and, therefore, that the home of the Finite only is in the 
Infinite. The Incarnation brings home this great lesson 
to human life and human history ; and as it only is 
the Infinite which can meet and prove the sufficient 
complement of the Finite, so it is by the latter recog- 
nizing its essential unitv with the former, that all its 
wants and longings are satisfied, "and that the Eevela- 
tion is seen to be fully adequate, and inexhaustible in 
its contents." 



PREFACE ix 



In tlie preceding volume we traced the origin of the 
multitudinous religions of the ancient and modern world 
to their roots in the soul of man. " All these religions set 
themselves to respond to some craving of the heart or head 
of man, to satisfy some instinct, dimly felt and ill read ; 
and ho\\'ever various, however contradictory they were in 
their expression, they did fulfil their office in some sort, 
else they would never have lasted a day. They differ, 
unquestionably, according to the stage of thought-develop- 
ment of the several peoples and nations which embraced 
them; but their differences ought, if man is progressive, 
to be capable of arrangement in a series of progTCSsively 
advancing truths." 

It has been made clear that one truth was conspicuous 
here — say in Mosaism, that another truth was prominent 
there — say in Hellenism ; it has been shewn that each 
religion was imperfect because it was partial, it maintained 
only one truth or one aspect of the Truth ; and it was this 
partiality which was the ruin of each. 

Tliat which mankind wanted, and "wants still, is not new 
truths, but the co-ordination of all aspects of the truth. 
In every religion of the world is to be found distorted or 
exaggerated, some great truth, otherwise it would never 
have obtained foothold ; every religious revolution has been 
the struggle of thought to gain another stej) in the ladder 
that reaches to heaven. 

That which we ask of Eevelation is that it shall take up 
all these varieties into itself, not that it shall supplant 
them ; and shew how that at which each of them aimed 



PREFACE 



however dimly and indistinctly, has its interpretation and 
realization in the objective truth brought to light by 
Eevelation. Hence, we shall be able to recognize that 
religion to be the true one, which is the complement 
and corrective of all the wanderings of the religious 
instinct in its efforts to provide objects for its own 
satisfaction. 

Starting from the great facts and laws of human nature 
and the universe, I have shewn that in them is contained 
the whole scheme of Christianity. I have shewn that the 
law of the universe is infinite analysis infinitely synthesized. 
I have shewn the existence everywhere of an antinomy. 
I have argued that evil and error are the negation of one 
factor in this antinomy ; that, for instance, is evil which 
synthesizes without projecting individualities by careful 
analysis. In what consisted the error of the ancient reli- 
gions of the world ? In the negation of the oj)posed facts. 
In what consists the adaptability of Christianity to the 
indefinite perfection of humanity ? In its conformity to 
the natural law, by insisting on the co-ordination of all 
truths, by consecrating at once solidarity and individu- 
ality, in maintaining unity in the midst of particulariza- 
tion. 

The drowning man may be saved by a plank or a rope, 
but there are circumstances in which plank or rope can 
not avail him. How much better for him to have learned 
that in himself is the principle of buoyancy, and then rope 
and plank will be serviceable though not indispensable. 
Scripture and Tradition have been the rope and plank to 



PREFACE XI 



man drowning in a flood of doubt. Scripture has yielded, 
Tradition lias given way ; — must he sink ? By no means. 
The principle of Christianity is within him, let him strike 
out and gain the shore. 

In anticipation of hostile criticism from certain religious 
periodicals and journals,^ I must distinctly repudiate 
having undertaken to give an exhaustive account of Chris- 
tian dogma. If the Incarnation be a divine fact, ten 
thousaud generations of men will not exhaust the truths 
it contains. I have chosen certain aspects of Catholic 
doctrine for illustration and elucidation, but I do not 
pretend to have given all. This applies especially to the 
chapters on the Atonement and on Immortality. And in 
speaking of the evidence for the Incarnation, in the 
Scriptures, I "wish it to be distinctly understood that I am 
examining it from an impartial point of view, such as 
would be taken in a court of law, and that I in no way 
deny their inspiration when I dispute the cogency of their 
evidence. I admit, for argument's sake, every objection 
raised against their authority ; — objections not groundless 
nor necessarily hostile ; and I shew that nevertheless the 
evidence for the Incarnation is too strong to be overthrown. 

I am not aware of any l^ook having taken the line I 
have adopted ; but I thankfully acknowledge a debt of 

^ The Roman "Catholic World," the high Anglican "Church Review," 
and the extreme Protestant " Press and S. James' Chronicle," have agreed 
to denounce me as a gross materialist, a thorough rationalist, and an 
undisguised infidel. 



xii PREFACE 



gratitude I owe to writers wlio have treated in part of a 
system 1 have taken as a whole. Especially am I indebted 
to one of the most original thinkers of the Galilean Church, 
the Abbe Gabriel, especially for much in Chap. IT,, also to 
the Calvinist pastor, M. Charles Secretan, to the Chevalier 
Bunsen, to M. Thiercelin, to j\I. de Strada, and to several 
of the German Hegelianists on the right and on the left. I 
confess that to Feuerbach I owe a debt of inestimable grati- 
tude. Feeling about, in uncertainty, for the ground, and 
finding everywhere shifting sands, Feuerbach cast a sudden 
blaze into the darkness and disclosed to me the way. 

Far be it from me to make any pretence to originality or 
research that are not mine. I may call this book the 
history of my own religious difficulties and searchings after 
the truth. That these ditticidties are shared by thousands 
in England and abroad, I am well aware ; that my book 
may produce conviction and rest in other minds is my 
highest aim. 

I have said that I make no pretence to originality. 
Every intellectual work is a filiation of the individual and 
society, of the past and the present. Our ideas are formed 
by assimilating the thoughts, the observations of others, 
and that part which is really our own often escapes us. 
The child is occasionally strangely unlike its parents, and 
the itlea formed in our minds is sometimes very different 
from the ideas from A\'hich it was engendered. 

S. B.-G. 

Dalton, Thirsk. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTEE I 

THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 

Progress in Nature general — Its law the emancipation of individuality — 
The object of instinct — Animal instincts and Intelligence in man — 
Consequent Antinomy — Happiness the signal when the instincts are 
satisfied — The antinomy between reason and sentiment — The antinomy 
between faith and reason — Reason i;nable to act without axioms — 
Antinomy in morals and politics — and in religion — Natural religion in- 
conclusive—The existence of God is incapable of demonstration — The 
inductive and deductive methods, are usually opposed — Opposition 
of analysis and synthesis — Science analytic and religion synthetic — 
Conciliation possible ...... Page 1 

CHAPTER II 

THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES 

The conciliation of antinomies a law of the universe — Man the union of 
antinomical forms — The idea of the Indefinite — conciliates religion and 
philosophy — speciality leads to error — the method of Hegel — applied to 
man — Life is motion between ever-moving poles — Advance toward the 
absolute — The existence of God follows the acceptance of the Hegelian 
axiom — The three moments — the three phases of the Ideal — The good, 
the true and the beautiful inseparable — The application to Cliristianity 
of the Hegelian method — Its fertility . . . Page 22 

CHAPTEE III 

THE BASIS OF TRUTH 

Truth is relative— The antipodes of truths — antagonistic ideas — the anti- 
nomy in man — Egoism and sympathj- — "Contradictories radically 



xiv CONTENTS 



exclude one another" an exploded axiom — The centre of gravity of 
Truths — The Ideal conciliates all — Conciliation of reason and senti- 
ment — No absolute falsehood — Error the opposition of one relative 
truth against another to the exclusion of the latter — All truths positive 
— Negations are nothing — Private judgment the negation of other 
judgments — Private judgment the negation of absolute Truth — The 
proper function of private judgment — It is the resolution of what is 
true to the individual self — Universal truth the combination of all 
appreciations of truth . , . . . Page 41 

CHAPTEE IV 

THE BASIS OF EIGHT 

Eight and its relation to Liberty — diihculty in defining Eight — Is right a 
rational or a sentimental verity? — Difficulty of establishing it on a 
rational basis— attempt of Hobbes — of Spinoza — of Grotius — of Kant — 
of Krause — confusion between right and will or force — Eight based on 
duty — a sentimental verity — Liberty alienable and inalienable — Eight 
the faculty of realizing our nature — Possibility of alienati?ig our right — 
Consequences which flow from the admission of the dogmatic basis of 
right — 1. All rights are equal — 2. All infringement of rights is im- 
moral — 3. All primitive rights are inalienable — 4. Primary rights are 
not mutually antagonistic — The primary rights of Man — 1. The right 
of personal freedom — 2. of good reputation — 3. of liberty of conscience — 
4. of expressing his convictions — 5. of appropriation — All these rights 
dogmatic ..... . . Page, 55 

CHAPTEE V 

THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY 

The physical condition of man renders society necessarj- — The Social In- 
stinct — Social organizations the product of the ideas of right and autho- 
rity — The family, the first society — Tlie idea of parental authority a 
prolongation of the idea of right — That authority ceases when the child 
has become a man — for then its rights are equal to its father's rights — 
Two kinds of authority, Moral authority and effective authority — 
Moral authority must rest on God — necessitates the hypothesis of free 
will — Effective authorit}' must derive from man— its mode of exercise 
compulsion — not to be confused with Sovereignty — Sovereignty, the 
right to violate rights with impunity — Sovereignty only possible, logi- 
cally, if God be denied — Attempt to subordinate sovereignty to moral 



CONTENTS XV 



authority impossible — The only possible mode of preserving moral au- 
thority and effective authority intact is to distinguish them, and derive 
the one from God, the other from men — Effective authority not neces- 
sarily immoral ...... Payc 72 

CHAPTER VI 

THE PRELIMINARY HYPOTHESES OP CHRISTIANITY 

The subject of the preceding chapters — The First Hypothesis : There is a 
First Cause self-existent, absolutely free, the Creator of the world — 
The motive of creation not necessity nor duty — To be sought in the crea- 
tion, not in the Creator — The creature is the object of creation — The 
motive of creation is Love — pure love unmixed with selfishness — Second 
hypothesis : God has made man in His image, i.e. with a free will — 
Man's duty is to distinguish himself, and thus constitute his personality 
— He cannot do so by denying God — He can only do so by simultane- 
ously distinguishing God and preserving the link between himself and 
God — This link is love — Recapitulation of the argument . Page 89 

GHAPTEE VII 

THE HYPOTHESIS OP THE INCARNATION 

The difficulty of obtaining a rational idea of God — The idea traverses two 
stages, one constructive, the other destructive — The first process, the 
idealizing of God — The second process, the emancipation of the idea 
from all relations — The true rational idea of God one of negation — The 
rational idea opposed to the Ideal — Are philosophy and religion neces- 
sarily antagonistic ? — The hypothesis of the Incarnation conciliates 
both — Christ is the Absolute and the Ideal — conciliates reason and 
sentiment — Belief and Reason necessary to one another — No system of 
thouglit without a postulate — The postulate of the Incarnation may be 
turned into a demonstration — Elucidation of the difficulty of identify- 
ing the Absolute with the Ideal — and of considering God as a Person 

Page, 99 

CHAPTEPt VIII 

THE DOGMA OF MEDIATION 

The advantage of the Hegelian trichotomy — dread of Hegelianism — unrea- 
sonable — Hegel's method destined to reconcile philosophy to religion — 
The finite and the infinite supposed to be irreconcileable — The Tncarna- 



xvi CONTENTS 



tion consequently rejected as cabsurd — The true idea of the infinite — of 
space and time — The ideas of space and time inapplicable to God — ■ 
relative only — The Word the equation between the Infinite and the 
finite — He is the Mediator as well .... Taije 115 

CHAPTER IX 

THE EVIDENCE FOR THE INCARNATION 

Private Judgment the basis of Certainty — Man accepts some truths by 
conviction, other truths on authority —Historical evidence always dis- 
putable — evidence of an historical religion especially so — The evidence 
of miracles unsatisfactory — Prophecy no evidence to the divinity of 
Christ — Scriptural evidence weak — 1. Scripture lays no claim to inspi- 
ration — 2. It is full of inaccuracies — 3. And of discrepancies — 4. Un- 
certainty of authorship— Difficulty of proving from Scripture the Divi- 
nity of Christ — The weakness of Protestantism — The airtbority of the 
Church — The evidence of our own Nature — The legitimate position of 
the Bible ....... Facje, 128 

CHAPTEE X 

CATHOLICISM 

Catholicism the religion of inclusion — a consequence of the Incarnation — 
The conciliation of Eeason and Faith — of Individualism and Solidarity 
The conciliation of all philosophies — of all Keligions — of Paganism — of 
Sectarianism — Catholicism demands universal toleration, its op]iosite is 
intolerance and persecution ..... Page 148 

CHAPTER XI 

PROTESTANTISM 

The affirmation of self and of God two duties — Mediaeval Catholicism 
affirmed God but neglected the affirmation of self — Protestantism the 
affirmation of self — Division and opposition the source of all misery and 
error — Distinction not division — Christian ethics consist in the affirma- 
tion of distinctions without division and opposition — The distinction of 
God and His relations by meditation, prayer, and worship — Liither de- 
nied these modes of affirming God — The affirmation of ourselves depends 
on our affirmation of God — Immorality the division between higher and 



CONTENTS xvii 



lower natures — Duty to our neiglihours consists in recognition of their 
rights and non-interference with their liberties— The negation of moral 
duty by Luther — He was disposed to sanction adultery — The evil of 
opposing religion to morality — Calvin denied free-will and therefore 
denied duty — The Eeformers denied the holiness of God — The system of 
negation and division carried on — Deification of negation — Opposition 
of the Church to God — Comte — Neo-Hegelian opposition of man to 
man — and negation of the Absolute — Subjective Christ opposed to his- 
torical Christ — and negation of the reality of the personal Christ — The 
Protestant spirit one of universal negation and opposition — it has 
opposed all truths, religions, and philosophies, scientific and sesthetical 

Page 167 

CHAPTEE XII 

CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 

The will the individualizing faculty — Individual will and collective will^ 
The tendency of society to destroy individuality — Yet individuality is 
necessary for social advance — The rights of man were ignored before 
the appearance of Christianity — The slave had no rights logically or 
really — The poor had no place — The woman had no rights — nor had 
the child — The dogmatic basis of right laid down by Christianity — 
Christianity a social revolution — Testimony of the Apostles to its liberal 
character — Equality in the Church — The union of Church and State 
interfered with the emancipation of individuality — The doctrine of 
equality of rights ignored in the Middle Ages — Exaggeration of 
authority to the annihilation of liberty — Da Vinci freed science from 
authority and made observation the test of truth — Lirther made the in- 
dividual judgment the criterium of religious truths — Descartes made it 
the basis of philosophic certaintj' — Rousseau founded morality on the 
individual conscience — The French Revolution established politics on 
individual right ...... Page 191 

CHAPTEE XIII 

THE SOCIAL ASPKCT OF THE INCARNATION 

The Ideal Man must have a double aspect, individual and social — The social 
Christ is the Church — a necessary consequence of the Incarnation — The 
characteristics of the individual Christ must also characterize the social 
Christ — The marks of the Church — the marks also of its members — The 
Communion of Saints a consequence — The organization of the Church — 



xviii CONTENTS 



The object to be secured hy organization is the preservation of all rights 
— The Church contains the ideally best organization — The election of 
bishops — essential to the welfare of the Church — the assenildy of 
councils also essential — The State interferes and assumes the right of 
nominating bishops — The history of the struggle in France — Had not 
the rights of the Church been invaded there would have been no 
Papacy, no ecclesiastical tyranny, no Reformation — Summary of argu- 
ments and conclusion . , . , . Page 219 

CHAPTEE XIV 

THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 

Moral and eflective authority mutually destructive — A theocracy de- 
structive of tlie dogma of free-will — The Papacy and its results — Sub- 
ordination of temporal to spiritual authority — The separation of spiri- 
tual and temporal authorities — Temporal authority is justifiable when 
exercised in its own domain — but immoral when it invades religion- 
Spiritual authority can only devolve from God — Man cannot delegate 
it — because man cannot make another represent God to him — No moral 
obedience due to the temporal power when it invades spiritual rights — 
The representation of authority in the Church necessary — The priest- 
hood necessary — Confusion of functions between priest, magistrate, and 
soldier ruinous to authority — Authority lodged in the whole Church — 
but devolves from Christ — it is absolute and it is limited — Ecclesiastical 
authority must be confined to the declaration of religious truths — In- 
fallibility resides in the whole body — Fallibility in negation — Are mem- 
bers of branch churches bound by negations? — The duties of Catholics 

Page 243 

CHAPTER XV 

THE DOGMA OF GRACE 

The relation between man and God — Deism admits the relation of origin 
alone — Pantheism confuses the factors — Christianity preserves the 
factors and determines the relation — Man free to accept life, reason and 
grace, or to reject them all or severally — Protestantism vitiates the re- 
lations — Catholicism maintains them- — The mode of God's operation 
the same always — Vitally, intellectually, morally He acts mediately — 
the medium material — The sacramental system the materialization of 
gi-ace— Grace given at every time of life to meet all necessities — 
Loss to the ignorant through the mutilation of the sacramental system 

Page 265 



CONTENTS xix 



CHAPTEE XVI 

EMMANUEL 

Prayer the affirmation of tlie link between God and man — affirms grace — 
Grace must coincide witli the law of the Incarnation — An historical 
Christ does not satisfy the needs of man — Man needs a Christ immanent 
in the Church as an object of worship — This is also necessitated by the 
nature of the Incarnation — The Keal Presence in every Christian — in all 
Sacraments — inthe Eucharist — Impossibility manlaboursunderof avoid- 
ing localization of the Deity — Christ, as God, is everywhere present — 
as Man is localized — These ideas do not contradict one another, both 
are true — The worship of the localized Christ springs up at once — This 
doctrine in accordance with the law of the Incarnation — Emmanuel, 
God with us in many ways ..... Fagc Til 

CHAPTEE XYII 

THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 

Sacrifice the expression of Love — hot necessarily involving an idea of pain 
— The dogma of original sin signifies the prevalence of opposition and 
contradiction — The Protestant doctrine, the negation of all good in 
man ; the Catholic doctrine, the opposition of good faculties — The 
Incarnation the reconciliation of all oppositions — The Passion its neces- 
sary climax — Why sufiering was necessary — Descent into the midst of 
every antagonism, sin and death — The Atonement is the restoration and 
reconciliation, completing the work of the Incarnation — Suff"ering touches 
a chord in man's nature — Justification the restoration of man by his 
co-operation — The Protestant doctrine different, the imputation of 
merits — The doctrine of vicarious sufiering a Protestant theory — It 
makes God unjust — Summary .... Page 293 

CHAPTER XVIII 

THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 

The Holy Communion the application of the Atonement — The Eesurreetion 
of the body one result of the Atonement — The Eucharist not a com- 
memoration of tlie death of Christ only — The necessity man feels of 
offering Sacrifice — As the link between man and God is love, of which 
sacrifice is the expression, the restoration of love is the restoration of 



XX CONTENTS 



sacrifice— Love the motive of asceticism — Love the motive of action in 
the material order — also in the spiritual order — The love of mini to God 
necessitates the Eucharistic sacrifice — That sacrifice identical with the 
sacrifice on Calvary— Christ, as head of humanity, combined in His 
Passion tlie idea of sacrifice to God with that of sacrifice to man — The 
idea of sacrifice an enigma to those who do not love — The idea of com- 
pensation creates ritual splendour — The love of the Church for Christ 
overflows in rite and symbol .... Pcuje ^\Z 

CHAPTER XIX 

THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 

The basis of Christian hope — Proofs of Immortality inadequate to give 
certainty — Future life of fame unsatisfactory — Future life desired by 
the suff"ering — It is a necessity of the soul — Because the soul cannot 
satisfy all its desires here — Because the capability of enjoyment is 
limited here — Contrast between what we have and what we hope for — 
The Christian heaven corresponds with the desire felt for it on eartli — 
The blunting of the finer faculties incapacitates man for enjoyment — 
destroys his aspirations — and therefore limits his Heaven- — The idea of 
Hell not necessarily one of pain but of low enjoyment — The idea of 
Purgatory one of gradual education — The idea of the Eesurrection of 
the body necessarily part of the Christian's hope . . Page 334 

CHAPTEE XX 

DEVELOPMENT 

Development, a subject ably treated by others — must be considered liere — 
Were all the propositions of the Faith simultaneously or successively 
evolved? — Probably by degrees — If development be denied, two other 
theories must be maintained — Scripture an absolute authority — This 
the Protestant theory — Its impossibility — Or that development was 
suddenly arrested — This the Anglican theory, unsatisfactory — Develop- 
ment apparent in the Bible — and in the history of the Church — De- 
velopment of doctrine — of Christian art— of appreciation of nature — of 
science — of constitutionalism — The limits of development — Conclusion 
— The prospects of Christianity .... Page 360 



CHRISTIAI^ITY 



CHAPTER I 

THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 

" When Being's j'atying crowds, together thrown. 
Mingle in harsh inextricable strife ; 
Whose spi7-it quickens the unvarying round, 
And bids itjiow to music's measured tone ?" — Goethe's " Faust." 

Progress in Nature general — Its law the emancipation of individuality — 
The object of instinct- — Animal instincts and Intelligence in man — 
Consequent Antinomy — Happiness the signal when the instincts are 
satisfied — The antinomy between reason and sentiment — The antinomy 
between faith and reason — Eeason unable to act without axioms — 
Antinomy in morals and politics — and in religion — Natural religion in- 
conclusive — The existence of God is incapable of demonstration — The 
inductive and deductive methods, are usually opposed — Opposition 
of analysis and synthesis — Science analytic and religion synthetic — 
Conciliation possible. 

THE law of Nature is progress, progress that is gradual, 
never abruptly transitional; so that Linnseus might 
well observe, " She never takes a leap." 

The mineral kingdom shades into that of vegetation, the 
plant graduates into the animal, and the instinct of the 
animal lightens slowly into human intelligence. The rock 
bears no resemblance to the flower, but there is a point at 
which inert matter and vegetable life meet and kiss, and 



A 



^v 






CHRISTIANITY 



at which the plant loses itself in the animal. On a slope 
of red bolus, sprinkled with boiling water from a jetter in 
Iceland, I picked up some red slime, an algid, — vitalized 
clay. 

On my window-sill a shower has deposited an almost im- 
perceptible atom, a dusky grain which tlie sun in drying 
has attached to the stone. Eespect that granide of dust. 
It is a living being. The heat has suspended, l)ut not ex- 
tinguished, its life. Another rain-drop restores it ; the diatom 
swells and revives. Myriads of these little creatures people 
the lakes, the sea, the springs. They are born, they breathe, 
they dart nimbly through their element, they die and drop 
their shells to accumulate in considerable masses at the 
bottom of the waters. Are they animalcules, or are they 
vegetables? Their agility belongs to the animal, but they 
attach themselves to the vegetable realm by one of its most 
essential characteristics ; — under the influence of light, they 
decompose carbonic acid. 

The method by which Nature proceeds is invariable. 
First she watches over the conservation of the individualities 
she has called out, then she takes care of the species to 
which they belong, and lastly, she assigns to all their places 
and their functions in the scale of creatures. Thus, she in- 
troduces into the world duration, stability, and unity. 

In the inorganic world matter is preserved by the laws 
imposed upon it — the laws of affinity and of gravitation; 
but in the higher classes individuals are made to participate 
in the execution of the laws. Nature, as it were, admits 
them to be her auxiliaries, calls on them to co-operate in 
the work of their own maintenance, and in the preservation 
of their race. Thus, a plant is not merely subject, like a 
mineral, to physical laws, Init it bears within itself a force, 
a new principle, a higher law; it grows, protects itself, de- 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 



velops itself by nutrition, and reproduces itself by seed. 
This double power has made it a living being. 

The little celandine that heralds in the spring screens 
itself from the icy blast : — 

"While the patient primrose sits 
Like a beggar in the cold, 
Thou, a flower of wiser wits, 

Slipp'st into thy sheltered hold;"^ 

and the autumn colchicum retains its seed-pod under 
ground to mature its germs in darkness till the winter 
snows are past, wdien it wall thrust them into light. 

The life of the animal is more complete than that of the 
vegetable, for it intervenes more spontaneously and more 
efficaciously in the double function of self-protection and 
continuance of the species. 

Inorganic matter submits passively to the law without, 
whereas the organism is regulated by a duality of laws, that 
law which rules all inorganic matter, and that which governs 
matter transformed into an activity. 

This duality explains the phenomena of life and death. 
The rudimentary being inspired with vitality, progresses; 
its fluid parts thicken, its soft parts become firm, membrane 
changes into cartilage, and cartilage into bone, bone hardens 
and is welded into neighbouring bones, the entire being 
advances towards solidification. One day a demonstration 
on tliis subject was made in the cabinet of M. Flourens. 
Some one a,sked the eminent physiologist at what point the 
process would terminate. "If we lived long enough," he 
answered, " we should be mineralized." 

This tendency of matter to agglomerate in masses always 
more compact from the moment that it is put in circulation 
in an organized being explains life, which is the perpetual 

^ Wordsworth : To tlic Celandine. 



CHRISTIANITY 



mutation of matter in obedience to the instinct of repara- 
tion; it explains also death, which is the climax of this 
tendency to compacity, opposing insurmountable obstacles 
to the renovating torrent. 

Every rise in the series of organisms brings along with 
it a disengagement of individuality, a manifestation of 
greater spontaneity. Man is subject, like inorganic bodies, 
to the physical laws governing all matter. He develops 
like the plant and he moves like the beast. He is com- 
posed of a portion of matter assuming a determined form, 
and also, of an internal motor, which moves the totality 
of this material mass as a lever moves a stone. 

This invisible motor in the animal and in man is called 
Instinct. It excites the organism for the purposes of self- 
protection, self-perfection and reproduction. 

The object set before animal life, and clearly attainable 
by it, is individual development and propagation of the 
species. The law of its life is the accomplishment of these 
two purposes. Its pleasure consists in their attainment. 
Having attained them its satisfaction is complete. There 
is no uncertainty in the beast, no conflicting instincts inits 
nature ; it is therefore subject to no doubt, no hesitation ; it 
can do no moral wrong. 

Its motive force linds expression in four animal cravings, 
which are the manifestation of a conservative and eovernin^c 
will, and are limited to the assurance of its own existence 
and the perpetuation of its species. The analysis of the body 
shews us organs adapted to the functions it is called upon 
to accomplish daily. The animal instincts are these: — 

1. The instinct of reparation by food and by sleep ; 

2. That of secretion ; 

3. That of self-defence ; 

4. That of reproduction. 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 



The law of progression applies to all organized beings, 
and to all transitions from one reign to another. 

From the conferva to the oak, from the arareba to the 
lion, organization becomes more complicated ; rudimental 
systems appearing in one class of beings are perfected in 
another. Everywhere the force of progress appears as the 
mainspring of life and perfection; it is visible in the tran- 
sition from one realm to. another, from one species to another, 
and in every individual in the advance from germ to ma- 
turity. Man passes through the stages of physical, in- 
stinctive, and intelligent life. His uterine existence re- 
presents the vegetative stage, his infancy is instinctive and 
animal; during childhood his intellectual powers are dawn- 
ing, they blaze into energy at adolescence. 

The inferior conditions of being do not disappear as those 
which are superior emerge, but continue to subsist, so that 
the human being is subject to the physical laws affecting 
inorganic matter, to the laws of vegetative growth, and to 
the laws of animal instincts. He is a mineral, a vegetable, 
and an animal at once. Physical laws determine his death, 
— dragging the constituents back from their vital unity 
into their passivity once more. That wonderful internal 
microscopic fioriation in either sex before fecundation is 
vegetative. And every animal appetite that characterizes 
the beast exhibits itself in man. 

But in addition to the corporal instincts attaching him 
to the realm below, man has instincts which distinguisli 
him from it, instincts which are peculiarly his own. He is 
double. He is, as Pascal says, "neither an angel nor a 
brute, but a littje of both." This duality produces conflict. 

"Vivere, mi Liicili, militare est!"^ 

He has two sets of appetites, those belonging to him as 

^ Seneca: Epist. 96. 



CHRISTIANITY 



an animal, and those belonging to liim as a man. He can 
find hajipiness certainly in the satisfaction of his carnal 
desires, because he is an animal; but that happiness will 
not be perfect because he is not an animal only. Above the 
corporal instincts he shares with his dog, — corporal, because 
tliey find their complete expression and entire satisfaction 
in the play of his organs, are the spiritual instincts, specu- 
lative and moi-al, — in other words, the appetite to know, 
and the appetite to love. 

Happiness is the signal to announce to the vital force 
within that tlie nature of the animal has met with satisfac- 
tion exactly commensurate with its want. If, then, we 
desire to know what is the o-kottos to which the instincts tend, 
we have only to ascertain in what those instincts find 
pleasure. 

When the animal lies down in the sun full fed, its 
happiness is absolute, its satisfaction is complete. In like 
manner happiness gives notice to the spiritual nature when 
its appetites touch and assimilate its natural food; and as 
the purpose of the animal appetite is the perfection of the 
body, so, the purpose of the spiritual appetite is the de- 
velopment of the soul. I must be allowed, at this stage of 
my argument, to call the higher force in man, — the presence 
of which all admit, though its nature may be disputed, — 
the soul, without committing myself thereby to an admis- 
sion of its immateriality or of its supernatural origin. I use 
the word for convenience only, to express that superior life 
distinguishing man, which, though various in its manifesta- 
tions, is essentially one. 

The analogy between the soul and the body is closer 
than is suspected. As there is a dualism in the life of the 
body, organic and animal, so are there in the soul two 
modes of life, that which is intellectual, and that which is 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 



moral. And as the animal or tlie organic life may be 
present, and yet be paralyzed, so may the intellectual or the 
moral life be present and yet be paralyzed. The paralysis 
of intellect is idiocy, the paralysis of morals is vice. 

As the animal life has its law of progress, so has the 
spiritual life ; as the former has its wants, so has the latter ; 
as the accomplishment of the animal wants is attended by 
complete satisfaction, so is the realization of the spiritual 
wants signalized by contentment. As those things afford- 
ing animal pleasure are necessary to the well-being of the 
body, so are those things yielding intellectual or moral de- 
light necessary for the perfecting of the spirit. 

If then we know what things gratify our higher nature, 
we know that they are things for which our spiritual in- 
stincts are designed, and we know also that they are things 
essential to the preservation, development and propagation 
of the spiritual life. 

We have therefore to inquire what are those things 
which do satisfy the spiritual instincts. 

On examination, we find that they may all be reduced 
to three classes, the true, the beautiful, and the good. We 
find also that the true satisfy the reason of man ;. the beauti- 
ful satisfy his sentiment; and the good are of a mixed order, 
satisfying both. Man's spiritual being is double, reason and 
sentiment, therefore the spiritual instincts are double; they 
may be summed up under two heads, the desire to know and 
the desire to love, the former rational, the latter sentimental. 

The desire to know, — in other words, — Curiosity, is a move- 
ment of the soul towards Truth, which it seeks to assimilate 
by Knowledge. It is the first step in the direction of Cer- 
tainty, furnishing the mind at every instant with materials 
for judgment and motives for action. It is restless, for 
Truth is complex; it is insatiable, for Truth is infinite. 



8 CHRISTIANITY 



The desire to love is the impulsion of the soul towards 
the Ideal, it is the sense of the indefinite, the perfect. It 
is also insatiable, for the perfect is always on the horizon, 
never attainable. 

That pleasure does attend the acquisition of knowledge 
does not admit of doubt. Take mathematical truths as an 
instance, the clearest of all to man's perception. Is it not 
a fact that as soon as the mind has resolved a problem it 
reposes in the solution with entire complacency ? Are not 
those truths alone completely satisfactory which are ab- 
solutely unassailable ? Does not a rational verity cease to 
give pleasure the moment it is breathed upon by doubt, and 
does not the suspicion of uncertainty goad the mind into 
inquiry which it cannot relinquish till it has again arrived 
at an unassailable truth, in which its energy may expire ? 

In analytical science again, it is truth lying at the bottom 
of the analysis which attracts the student ; and the dis- 
covery of a scientific law satisfies the intellectual appetite 
precisely as food satisfies a hungry dog. 

Supreme happiness to reason, that is the Ideal of the 
intellect, is the attainment of certainty upon every subject 
and about all things. 

The assimilation of truth, or knowledge, is therefore that 
for which the reason is constituted. 

That pleasure does attend the pursuit of the Ideal of 
beauty who can doubt ? It is greater in degree than that 
afforded by the attainment of truth by the intellect. Music, 
poetry, painting, sculpture and architecture, the prismatic 
gleams of the perfect, vibrate through the soul. Beauty 
warms, and Truth illumines. Tliere is this peculiarity about 
the pleasure derived from the beautiful, that when raised 
to the highest pitch it sharpens into pain, acute and ex- 
quisite — pain which is itself a delight, produced by the 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 



strain of the soul to grasp and assimilate the perfect, and 
by the sense of failure, because the perfect is unattainable. 
The cravings of the soul of man before music and painting 
were discovered must have resembled the stutterings for 
impossible utterance in the dumb. And when these crav- 
ings found expression, man felt that the expression he gave 
them was inadequate to sate his sense of perfection. 
Music, painting, architecture, were and are so many moulds 
into which he pours the boiling stream of spiritual passion, 
but to the man of genius the moulds are too strait, and the 
flood overflows. 

The Ideal is to the heart what certainty is to the reason. 
Truth is the assembly of laws. Eeason seeks law after 
law in succession. The ideal is the assembly of perfections, 
eesthetic and moral ; the sentiment proceeds in quest of it, 
in a manner resembling the process of reason, it compares 
analogous and opposed ideas, eliminates some, identifies 
others, and arrives after an analysis, more or less subtle, 
at a generalization ; that is, through variety it seeks unity. 

In the pursuit of the Ideal, happiness is the notice to 
the sentiment that it is following the right track, that it is 
accomplishing its destiny. All the forces in the human 
soul, all the investigations of the mind, the artistic crea- 
tions of the fancy, all refinements in the pursuit of pleasure 
even, are the gravitation of man's higher being towards the 
Ideal. In art and literature, the ideal is a subtilized reality 
truer than reality itself The history of the human race 
is a perpetual legend of creations of the imagination to 
satisfy this want. It is a singidar fact that men generally, 
and every man in particular, constantly endeavour to desert 
real life for one which is altogether artificial, artistic, and, 
in a word, ideal. The ideal is an image of perfection 
created by the soul itself, which it places before it as a type 



lo CHRISTIANITY 



to be realized ; looking at times back indeed, as though that 
Ideal were something lost, but, generally forward, as though 
it were something to be won, so that the ideal is to man's 
spirit as an Eden, at once an aspiration and a regret. 

Eeason is a faculty for extracting truth out of materials 
pro'S'ided by the sentiment. There are certain fundamental 
axioms, indemonstrable, which it is obliged to accept or to 
fall into paralysis. In mathematics it works uncomplain- 
ingly from axioms, which. serve as the base of all certainty. 
We know that the whole is greater than its part, that a right 
line is the shortest way between two points, but we cannot 
prove these truths. We accept them. Philosophy, in at- 
tempting to surpass the rigour of the mathematical sciences, 
has sought to resolve the problem of certainty ; and has, in- 
stead, only succeeded in obscuring it. There are axioms 
self-evident, wliich are the cyphers with which reason must 
work ; if it refuse the cyphers, it is reduced to jjractical in- 
action. We believe in the real existence of that thinking 
and perceiving unit, the Ego. We believe in the real, 
substantial existence of the objects presented to us by our 
senses. But these beliefs are irrational, that is, we cannot 
say of any one of them. How or why it is. They remain 
insoluble to logic, dogmas imposed by the sentiment, and 
accepted at once. 

Descartes laid down his axiom Cogito, ergo sum; Hume 
was right in saying that it was a pure h}qiothesis ; QiLod 
sentio, est, the basis of sensational philosophy, is also an 
assumption, but it is a truth of which we are assured by 
the sentiment. 

When philosophy refuses to accept these fundamental 
axioms, in themselves indemonstrable, but which serve as 
the base of all demonstration, and whose evidence convinces 
man in spite of himself, it results in proving nothing at all. 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 1 1 

Man exists: that cannot be proved, it is evident in itself. 
The question of certainty implies this first axiom. The 
exterior world, of which we have conscience, exists ; that 
escapes demonstration, it carries conviction with it. The 
fact by means of which we know our own existence assures 
us of the existence of the world outside : it is the double 
face of one invincible fundamental evidence. The existence 
of objects otber than ourselves is a second axiom. In us 
exists thought, with its laws, or the assembly of relations 
which unite the ideas of our reason : that also cannot be 
discussed, it can only be felt as certain. The question of 
certainty implies this third axiom, for every question sup- 
poses thought, which is its conception, and reason to which 
it is submitted. Such are the three axioms from which 
all intellectual activity starts: they are axioms whose 
evidence surpasses that of the mathematical axioms which 
no one disputes. 

Thus reason must act upon faith as its foundation; but as 
reason is by its nature sceptical, it is tempted to question 
first one, and then another of these axioms, and thus have 
arisen the philosophic schools which have wrangled for ages 
over what no one, not even a sceptic, can practically deny. 

Every one acts upon the assumption that certainty is 
derived from faith and reason. Every one believes in- 
vincibly in tlie testimony of sentiment and reason, and 
cannot reject this testimony without annihilating his being. 
When they attest to us physical or metaphysical facts, we 
hold them to be constant. We conclude from the appear- 
ance to the reality by an inductive process of which we are 
not ourselves masters. 

By this means we affirm the primitive facts of our exist- 
tence, of the world, of our faculties, the legitimacy of the 
principle of our knowledge, the reality of the first notions 



12 CHRISTIANITY 



we acquire. Human science, made up of demonstrations, 
can go no further back. It must rest on faitli ; it must 
accept the Cartesian and Sensationalist and Idealist hypo- 
theses, and work up from them. Eeason and faitli, as two 
principles of certainty, have sufficed man, and have sufficed 
him so well, tliat no sceptic has yet appeared who has not 
in common life, at every instant, practically contradicted 
his assumed disbelief. Pyrrho himself, in the abstraction 
of reason, denied all certainty, but when he entered into real 
life; "It is impossible," said he, "to shake off human nature." 
That reason and faith have a tendency to encroach on 
one another's domains, and to stand in antagonism, is 
matter of universal experience. Everything believed in is 
irrational and every demonstration destroys belief When 
I believe something to be true, as that two triangles whose 
sides are equal have also equal angles, I accept the testi- 
mony of my eyes, or of some one else ; but when I have 
worked out the problem, I no longer believe this, I know 
it. As faitli thus disappears before knowledge in many 
cases, we rashly conclude that knowledge can destroy all 
faith. But, as has been already shewn, without faith, reason 
would be totally unable to act. Sentiment and reason 
have their respective lines, distinct always, divergent often, 
sometimes convergent, but never disappearing into one 
another. Under the most favourable circumstances, reason 
is the asymptote of sentiment, approaching it indefinitely, but 
never meeting it. Each has its special function, both are 
a first necessity. In that field which is peculiar to reason 
alone, or that specially appertaining to sentiment, there can 
be no antinomy. The delight I receive from a beautiful 
sunset, or from a strain of Mozart, is purely sentimental. 
Eeason in no way participates in the pleasure of which I 
am conscious, for reason is no criterium of beauty. 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 13 



In scientific analysis the process is strictly rational. 
Sentiment is no criterium of truth in mathematical or 
physical demonstration. 

In art sentiment has the field to itself, in science reason 
is alone master of the situation. But when we come to 
ethics, politics, and religion, there is no such simplicity. 
They are mixed questions, in which both reason and senti- 
ment intervene. As they lose simplicity they lose absolute 
certainty. Eational verities are indisputable. They are 
the same for all. Three angles of a triangle cannot be 
equal to two right angles to an Eugiishman and equal to 
four to a Caffre ; but moral actions vary in their relative 
morality according to circumstances ; and reason alone is 
no criterium of their morality ; nor would a rational judg- 
ment be invariably just. Though reason can apply to moral 
verities an uniform measure up to a certain point, it has 
never been able to so formulate them as to make them of 
universal application. It follows, that if the principle of 
our duties be certain to ourselves, it is not so in the same 
degree to others. Moral acts are debateable; the judgment 
has often to decide between two principles reaUy, or ap- 
parently conflicting, if it pretends to be just. 

In politics the antinomy becomes more evident. Man 
as an individual has his rights, as a member of society he 
has his duties. As a rational being he has a right to ab- 
solute freedom, as a social being his liberty must be cur- 
tailed. Liberty is requisite for individual development, 
authority is necessary for social improvement. Eight, as a 
personal faculty, is the manifestation of liberty in opposi- 
tion to hostile wills which prevent its exercise ; as a social 
requirement it is the erection of a wall of duties around 
the individual, limiting his freedom. 

Thence a bitter, incessant feud between liberty and 



14 CHRISTIANITY 



aiitliority; liberty tending to burst away from all authority, 
and wreck all social organizations in its centrifugal violence; 
autliority tending incessantly to encroach on the rights of 
man, to pare off all inequalities, to blunt all angularities, 
to flatten all originality, and by its strong centripetal power 
to absorb the individuality of men in order to destroy it. 

Next in order to the verities of science, art, morals, and 
politics, follow the dogmas of Religion. 

The existence of an eternal, infinite, all-powerful Being 
is believed in ; but it cannot be proved. Eeason can only 
start from hypotheses, and argue within the circle of things 
known. It may, by a series of inductions, shew that it is 
probable that there is a God, but it can never prove that 
there is one. As Kant has shewn, there is not a single 
demonstration of God which does not contain a contradiction. 

The idea of the supernatural is not a rational verity. It 
belongs to the sentiment which is the faculty of perceiving 
the infinite, whereas the reason is, by its nature, finite. 
God is perceived by the heart, not concluded by the mind. 
Natural religion is, properly speaking, not a religion at all. 
It is deficient in a fixed principle, and halts at conjecture. 
It yields at the point where strength is required. It is 
nothing but a prolongation of science, necessarily incomplete, 
always unsatisfactory. Natural religion is based on induc- 
tion founded on hypothesis. Starting from the reality of 
the conscious self, or of the exterior world, it is the result 
of &,n argument which concludes nothing but supposes 
something — the existence of a God to explain the enigma 
of the universe. 

Eevealed religion is deduced from the existence of God ; 
from which the reality of our own existence and of the 
material universe and the VN'orld of ideas are demonstrated 
syllogistically. 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 15 

Faitli must be called into play to furnish the preliminary 
axiom or axioms, and as reason objects to what is not 
demonstrable, it at one time assails the basis of the induc- 
tion, at another time it refuses the basis of the deduction. 

Eeason may justly ask why is the Cartesian or Sensa- 
tionalist formula to be accepted ? Why is man to be cer- 
tain that his conscience of his own existence, of the reality 
of his thoughts and of the world, is not delusive ? To this, 
the only satisfactory answer is that furnished by religion, — 
because God exists as the author of certainty, the beginning 
and the end of all created reason, the first and last v/ord of 
all knowledge, the alpha and omega of everything. 

Without axioms reason cannot operate. The question 
between natural religion and a positive religion is simply 
the question between induction and deduction. But there 
is this difference : the inductive process does not lead up to 
certainty, whereas the deductive process does. The induc- 
tive process dies away in conjecture, whereas the other 
provides a sound basis for action. 

The idea of God, in the inductive process, is not more 
solid than the last term x in an indefinite progression of 
known terms. Does this last term exist, or is it only an ideal 
which we seek to approach, but which always escapes us ? 
This is a question natural religion can never answer. It 
accumulates proofs which are not proofs at all, but conjec- 
tures; as though a large number of probabilities would 
make up certainty. 

When geometricians have once proved that the three 
angles of a triangle whose sides are equal are also equal, 
they pass on to another theorem, and with reason, for it 
would be waste of time to prove by additional demonstra- 
tions that the proposition once established is true. 

The learned naturalist Kircher (d : 1680) calculated the 



1 6 CHRISTIANITY 



number of proofs of tlie existence of God, and estimated 
them at 6561. Every department of natural pliilosopliy 
has been ransacked for demonstrations. There has been 
an astrotheology, a lithotheology, a petinotheology, and an 
insectotheology. The different classes of animals have con- 
tributed their proofs. In 1748, vast swarms of locusts 
covered the land in Germany and France. Eathlef, pastor 
of Diepholz, profited by the occasion to fabricate an akrito- 
theology; and among other demonstrations occurs the fol- 
lowing, " God has organized their head in a marvellous 
manner, it is long and the mouth is below, so as to save 
them the trouble of bending to eat, and thus to enable them 
to eat faster and eat more." But, as has been shewn re- 
peatedly, such arguments from design are a begging of the 
whole question. 

The argument has sometimes been put in another form. 
The universe has been likened to a clock, and it has been 
concluded because the clock has a maker that therefore the 
world has a Creator. But this argument is not more satis- 
factory than the otlier. There is this difference between 
the clock-maker and the Creator : the latter is supposed to 
be self-existent ; whereas the former is an ordinary man, 
with father and mother, and is one of the links in the great 
chain of causes and effects. If, in shewing the clock, the 
philosopher were to say : There are only two things pos- 
sible, either it was made by a clock-maker who was his own 
father and mother, or it made itself, it would not be at all 
evident which possibility was to be accepted ; between two 
things equally hard to understand, the only situation pos- 
sible would be one of doubt. 

The demonstration of Descartes is no less unsatisfactory. 

I have in myself the idea of God, that is to say, the idea 
of the infinite : how comes it to be there ? 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 17 

Either because the Infinite exists, and tlien it is quite 
natural that I should have the idea ; or because, the Infinite 
not existing, I created the idea for myself. 

But how is it possible that I should create that which is 
in myself ? I can only form an idea of that which does not 
exist, by way of attenuation, l^y suppressing the qualities of 
the objects I know to exist, or by way of amplification, by 
uniting together the qualities of many objects in one idea. 
But the infinite cannot be an attenuation of the finite, nor 
can it be a collection of finalities ; for a great many finite 
things do not make one infinite. 

Therefore I can only have the idea of the Infinite, because 
the Infinite really exists. 

This demonstration is satisfactory to those alone who 
allow his first hypothesis, — viz., that we have in us the idea 
of the infinite, and this is precisely the point assailed by 
the Sensualists. 

If reason has never been able to found a religion which 
will bear criticism, it is because of this, that it begins with 
an undemonstrable hypothesis and ends in an hypothesis. 
Consequently, all attempts to prove the existence of God 
are convincing only to those already convinced. 

The story is told of Diderot, that he heard one day an 
argument on the existence of God which satisfied and de- 
lighted him, and he rushed off to a sceptical friend to retail 
to him his new faith. He found him in a printer's, told 
him tlie argument, proved to him the existence of God, and 
foimd his friend unconvinced. The latter at once put his 
finger on the gratuitous assumption on which the whole 
structure leaned, withdrew the prop, and it crumbled into 
dust. Diderot saw his error, and fell again into doubt. 
His apostolate had lasted just one hour. 

Arguments of this sort are all well enough to fortify a 

B 



1 8 CHRISTIANITY 



conviction already formed, but they will never serve as the 
mainstay of a religion. And the reason is simple enough : 
God cannot he concluded, He can he perceived. Eeason 
cannot act M'ithout faith ; believe in God, and religion can 
be deduced from it ; believe in a nudtitude of axioms irra- 
tional and without raison cTctrc, and religion and philoso- 
phy rest on a foundation of sand. The question must 
always prove sterile, AVhy am T to believe in the reality of 
myself, of the world, and of my thought ? unless I admit a 
God as the cause of the truth of these primitive axioms. 
But till philosophy recognizes this, the inductive and the 
deductive methods will maintain internecine war. 

There are but two methods, which resume all others. 
Tn the one, reason starts from itself to return to itself. All 
that does not admit of being rationalized, it rejects. It 
is sovereign; — its own judge and authority. Scepticism is 
the inevitable result, if those wdio trust to this method stand 
true to their principle. They are bound to dispute every 
hypothesis and axiom, or to admit that only to be certain 
which is so demonstrably. And as it is impossible for 
reason to p-roAC the primary axioms, they are condemned to 
blank Pyrrhonism. This result may be evaded, but such 
an evasion is untrue to the ])rinciple. 

The other method starts from authority divine or human. 
Human authority may furnish conviction, l)ut lle^■er cer- 
tainty. Divine authority is immutable and infallible. The 
method of authority is not vicious in itself, as those who 
overthrew scholasticism protested, but it is incomplete. 
As the simplest method for giving elementary instruction, it 
is unsurpassed, but it is wrong to regard it as the exclusive 
method, as the sole one admissible. 

Philosophy can only be a positive science when it pos- ■ 
sesses a method truly demonstrative, that is to say, one 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 19 

which conducts rigorously and incontestibly to certaint}". 
Now this is what has been wanting to all philosophic 
schools. Scholasticism is the least incomplete, when, start- 
ing from revelation, it rests unshaken on its divine founda- 
tion, and never deserts the formulae of absolute verity. 
But in its exposition, in the deductions it makes from 
immutable principles, it often enters the domain of opinion, 
because, starting from revelation, it does not admit the 
inductive counter-process as its corrective. Hence the 
astonishing diversity of opinions which divide the schools 
of deductive theology. 

To resume in few words the subject, as far as we have 



gone- 



Man is doul)le, having an animal and a spiritual nature, 
at war with one another. 

His spiritual nature is also double, being made up of 
reason and sentiment, the one a finite, the other an inde- 
finite faculty, and this antinomy is productive of an- 
tagonism. 

In morals and politics there is no certainty, l)ut a conflict 
between man's individual wants and the wants of society. 

Authority, which holds society together, and liljerty, that 
which determines the individuality of man, are constantly 
opposed. 

Eeligion and philosophy are in opposition, for religion 
assumes the supernatural, and cannot exist without the 
supernatural, and philosophy denies what is not demon- 
strable, and only exists on condition of holding for true 
that alone which is demonstrable. 

Eeason cannot act without faith, and faith is impotent 
Avithout reason, nevertheless they are opposed, and tend to 
invade each other's territory, and to destroy one another. 



20 CHRISTIANITY 



Admitting the necessity of faith of some sort, there are 
two methods of reasoning, the inductive and the deductive, 
and these are opposed to one another and have been held 
to exchide one another. 

Therefore man, m all his relations, is in a state of anti- 
nomy; and this antinomy must change into antagonism, 
unless he admit the existence of a God as a fundamental, 
indemonstrable axiom, the basis of all certainty, the con- 
ciliator of all antinomies. 

All things tend to unity. It is the universal law of life. 
This is no theory, it is a fact. At the same time, all beings 
tend to individualize themselves. This also is no theory, it is 
a fact. Here are two opposed facts, and yet practically 
there is no opposition. 

Philosophy and science endeavour, by isolating one 
object or class of objects, by specializing every branch of 
human knowledge, to attain certainty. To know anything 
perfectly, the attention must be concentrated on that 
alone. Thus science is necessarily, and exclusively, analy- 
tical. 

We have only a finite knowledge of things ; the condi- 
tions of our nature do not permit us to embrace with one 
glance of the mind the entirety of any thing in all its rela- 
tions, much less the totality of all things in all their aspects. 
"We are obliged to examine them successively, one by one^ 
so as to distinguish them. To the peasant all flowers are 
flowers, there is no distinction ; but if he concentrate his 
attention on them, he separates the dandelion from the 
daisy, the hawthorn from the rose. A more attentive 
student will discover distinctions between roses, hawthorns 
and daisies. He will separate rose from brier, and haw- 
thorn from blackthorn, and daisy from oxeye. A more 
exclusive botanist devotes himself to roses alone, or to 



THE UNIVERSAL ANTINOMY 21 

daisies alone. We have eminent botanists whose speciali- 
ties are mosses, willows or algids. 

So too in the study of man. Some attach themselves to 
mankind as a race, others take man in particular, others 
dissect man with the scalpel, weigh him, dissolve him in 
acids, test him with the blow-pipe, and tabulate him as so 
much phosphorus, so much lime and so much carbon. 
Others again study him as a psychological phenomenon, 
and dissect his ideas and arrange them artificially. 

But this constant analysis and specialization can only 
give one aspect of the truth, and the natural philosopher 
and psychologist forget that synthesis is as necessary as 
analysis. 

To separate is to destroy unity, to kill life. Analysis is 
the disintegration of life, synthesis is its reintegration. 

This is precisely what science has forgotten, and it is 
that which religion, — the Christian religion, at least, under- 
takes to sujDply. 

Christianity claims to synthesize what science analyzes. 
Synthesis without analysis is nothing but uniformity. 
Analysis without synthesis is nothing but diversity. 

Therefore science and religion are each necessary, the 
one to distinguish individualities, the other to bring indi- 
vidualities into unity. 

This proposition will appear more evident from the 
sequel. 



CHRISTIANITY 



CHAPTER II 

THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES 

" Tlie mlwlc round earth is every luay 
Bound iy gold chains about the feet of God.'''' 

Tennyson: Mokte D'Arthur. 

The conciliation of antinomies a law of tlie universe — Man the union of 
antinomical forms — The idea of the Indefinite — conciliates religion and 
philosophy — speciality leads to error — the method of Hegel — applied to 
man — Life is motion between ever-moving poles — Advance toward the 
absolute — The existence of God follows the acceptance of the Hegtdian 
axiom — The three moments — the three phases of the Ideal — The good, 
the true and the beautiful are inseparable — The application to Chris- 
tianity of the Hegelian method — Its fertility. 

THE world presents us witli a picture of unity and dis- 
tinction — unity without uniformity, and distiaction 
without antagonism. 

We may say tliat the law of the universe seems to be 
infinite analysis infinitely synthesized. There is universal 
antinomy, universally conciliated. 

But when we examine man, a creature with free will, we 
find that he is capable of turning distinction into opposi- 
tion, of making scission and separation ; and then duality " 
and contradiction begin. 

Let us study that law, not in its deviation producing 
duality, but in its antinomical conception, producmg 
unity. 



THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES i2> 

Everywhere, around us and witliin us, we see that radical 
antinomy. The whole astronomic order resolves itself into 
attraction and repulsion — a centripetal and a centrifugal 
force; the chemical order into the antinomy of positive 
and negative electricity, decomposing substances and re- 
composing them. The wliole visible universe presents the 
antinomy of light and darkness, movement and repose, 
force and matter, heat and cold, the one and the multiple. 
The order of life is resumed in the antinomy of the indi- 
vidual and the species, the particular and the general; the 
order of our sentiments in that of happiness and sorrow, 
pleasure and pain ; that of our conceptions in the antinomy 
of the ideal and the real ; that of our will in the conditions 
of activity and passivity. 

If we specialize one of these features and oppose it to 
the other, we break the order of the universe ; we introduce 
antagonism where there was only antinomy. 

In considering man, made up of body and spirit, we 
must not regard him as body alone, or as spirit alone. 
The analysis of his body by the anatomist and chemist is 
satisfactory so long as it is not opposed to the analysis of 
the spirit by the metaphysician. It is not the body com- 
I)osed of flesh and blood and bones which I feel to be the 
1-myself ; it is not the soul, composed of reason, will, and 
feeling, which I consider as the I-myself ; but it is the two 
combined. My feeling in this matter is in perfect accor- 
dance with the law of the universe noted above. 

The true definition of man is the union of two complex 
terms, not the specializing of one term to the exclusion of 
the other. 

In the former chapter I pointed out another antinomy 
in man, faith and reason. The philosopher is impressed 
with a deske to separate reason from faith, and put it by 



24 CHRISTIANITY 



itself apart, and then erect it into a totality excluding and 
annihilating faith. I have 'shown that such an attempt 
inevitably breaks down. The theologian, on the other 
hand, endeavours to oppose authority to reason, to make 
all demonstration deductive, to erect revelation into a fatal 
criterium of all truths. His attempt must result in a 
revolt of the intellect. 

If we look about for a simple and indecomposible idea 
which may harmonize these complex terms, and serve as 
the proportional mean between them, we shall find it in the 
idea of the indefinite, or that which is incessantly defining 
itself, without being ever completely successful, and which 
has therefore two faces, one intelligible to reason, the other 
accessible to the sentiment by faith. 

Eeligion and philosophy are not two contradictory sys- 
tems, but are the positive and negative poles, of which the 
axis uniting and conciliating them is the idea of the inde- 
finite, which, expressing two complex terms, the body and 
the spirit, the finite and the infinite, represents the consti- 
tutive and fundamental nature of man. 

The idea of the indefinite at once swpposcs and excludes 
limitation. The consciousness man has of his own person- 
ality distinguishes him to himself from everything else. 
This consciousness implies, whilst it denies, limitation. It 
is what I call the sentiment of the indefinite. When he 
affirms himself, he distinguishes himself from another. To 
recognise another is to place a limit at which his own per- 
sonality halts and finishes. But although his personality 
halts and finishes at a limit through relation to others, it is 
in itself unlimited ; and though having a beginning, it is, or 
conceives itself to be, without end. To conceive the anni- 
hilation of the conscious self is simply impossible. If you 
doubt this, make the experiment. 



THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES 25 

Thus, the idea of personality implies limit at the same 
time that it excludes it. 

If man could regard himself as the absolute I-myself, 
without limitation, lie would be the infinite ; he would be 
God. 

If lie could only regard himself as limited, he would be 
an animal, nothing more. 

But as he has the consciousness of the indefinite, the 
perfect, he cannot be limited only, to the exclusion of the 
unlimited — I do not say the infinite, but the indefinite, or 
unlimited in one direction. 

How it is that these two things, the limited and the un- 
limited, personality and distinction, subsist in one and the 
same being, simply and indivisibly, is the mystery of human 
life. 

This is what psychologists have termed the Ego, the 
non-ego and their relation — terms not only inseparable, but 
indivisible, though perfectly distinct in their simultaneity. 
But, failing to perceive this unity, they have separated 
them, making of the Ego, man ; of the non- ego, the world ; 
and of their relation, the idea. A fatal mistake to scind 
what is by its nature indivisible. The secret of life consists in 
man bearing within him the world, and the idea, without the 
possibility, of their identification with himself The world 
is not me, nevertheless I bear in my body the unity and 
the synthesis of the world and its laws. Nor is the idea 
me ; it is the link uniting me to the not-me. Thus, in my- 
self I am unlimited ; in my relation to others I meet with 
limitation. 

Suppose that I recognise only one of these modes of 
being, I deny the unlimited, and concentrate my attention 
on all that limits me, on the material objects of nature. 
What is the logical result ? I fade into that universal 



26 . CHRISTIANirV 



matter, which alone I recognise ; I fall from materialism to 
atheism, and as a final conclusion, to universal negation, 
because I refuse to acknowledge that invisible force within 
which insurges against all bounds. But if, on the other 
hand, I allow myself to be carried away in the current of 
that power which rolls towards the infinite, I lose sight of 
the banks, and I disappear in the abyss of the infinite ; I 
become a pantheist. So true is it the division produces 
ruin, desolation, and death. 

Man will never be truly known either by examining 
him in his finite aspect as a creature, one of the animated 
atoms of tlie world, or by investigating him in his infinite 
aspect as a spiritual force, an active intellect. The animals 
are limited ; they find their life, their repose, their happi- 
ness within limits; but limitation stifles man. Let him 
try to abstract himself from limits, and, like the Buddhist 
ascetic, he falls into nirvana, which is zero, a simple nega- 
tion. Limitation is requisite to constitute his personality ; 
illimitation is necessary to make that personality progressive. 

But whence does man obtain his unlimited personality 1 
It cannot have been given him by anything that he touches, 
that surrounds him, for all matter is by its nature limited. 
This is the problem which religion solves, by laying down 
as a fundamental axiom the absolute existence of God, the 
source and author of the existence of man. j\Ian created 
by God is placed between the infinite and the finite ; lie is 
the middle term uniting them through his conscience of 
the indefinite. Obedient to his true nature, bounded on all 
sides and in his own faculties, he inclines towards the in- 
definite ; and transpiercing all limits, as electricity pene- 
trates all bodies, he rises by a progression without term 
towards the infinite. 

Life is not a mere exterior movement, the movement of 



THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES 27 

the being in its relations to other beings, but it is also, and 
especially, an internal movement from the visible to the 
invisil)le, from the real to the ideal, from the finite to the 
infinite. 

Tlie conscience of the true, the beautiful and the good, is 
tlie sense of the perfect, which is in itself indefinite. En- 
deavour to conceive the beautiful in art, truth in science, 
goodness in morals, without the indefinite, and you will 
find it impossible ; the sense of the beautiful is a sentiment 
infinite in variety and inexhaustible in modification. The 
delight dissolving into tears caused by the perception of 
the beautiful in music, ijainting and poetry, is the stretch- 
ing onward of the soul towards perfection ; and that which 
satisfies to-day will not satisfy to-morrow, for the ideal is 
never stationary.^ The restless thirst after knowledge in 
man is consequent on the idea of the unlimited. The 
acquisition of certainty in one branch of science spurs him 
on to discover it in another. Without the idea of the 
indefinite, mathematics would have halted at addition and 
subtraction, and never have risen through geometry to 
astronomy. The moral sense is also unlimited : it is well 
known that the better a man is, the higher is the ideal of 
virtue he sets before him, and the less satisfied he is with 
himself 

^ I may mention here a remarkable fact, "\^^len I was about fifteen 
years old, I dreamt that I saw an angel with a coloured light in his hand, 
standing in the grass on a starry night. The colour was entirely different 
from any that we know. I recall it at times, and try to express my idea 
of it ; but I am paralyzed, for it is an idea so entirely sid generis and so 
primitive that I can no more describe it than I coidd describe red or blue. 
The only way to express it would be by coining a new Avord. This fict 
has often led me to suppose that perhaps colours, forms of beauty and 
musical notes may be infinite in variety, but that our limited faculties can 
only catch and retain some. It is well known that many notes of music 
ai'e inaudible to the ear. 



28 CHRISTIANITY 



What is the beautiful ? what is truth ? what is goodness ? 
These ideas cannot be defined ; they can be seen, felt, but 
they cannot be formulated. For a moment they receive 
definition, but they are permanently indefinable ; they are 
not fixed points in themselves, but, like the cardinal points, 
fixed by the position man occupies towards them. This is 
one of the conditions inseparable from the perfectability of 
man. The danger to him is lest he should consider those 
points which are gratuitously assumed to facilitate his ad- 
vance as fixed realities; just as the astronomer would fall 
into error if he w^ere to regard the cardinal points as real 
entities, and not as relative terms, which never occupy tlie 
same place in the horizon for two minutes successively, 
although they always express the same relation of the 
globe to its centre. Now this is precisely the mistake 
philosophers have made who have sought to enclose life, 
that is to say, movement, within fixed, immovable points. 

How is man to be defined who is precisely the indefin- 
able ? how is he who excludes limits to be shut within 
them ? but also, how is he to be known except by defini- 
tion and the limitation he implies ? Such is the antinomy 
everywhere and always reappearing. 

The indefinite, we have said, is that which at the same 
time implies and excludes limitation. Such is the true 
sense of Hegel's logical method, which we shall apply to 
the subject under consideration. 

By his famous axiom, " I think, therefore I am," Des- 
cartes placed the principle of the absolute in the I-myself. 
Spinoza, applying this principle to God, or rather to the 
totality of things, deduced from it pantheism, as a logical 
consequence. But Kant was the first, by turning philo- 
sophy into a true metaphysical algebra, to demonstrate that 
from this point of view theoretical and practical reason 



THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES ic^ 

cannot arrive at the certainty of the real existence of any 
exterior object, and that consequently man can veritably 
know nothing. Fichte, Schelliiig, and all the German 
philosophers, nsing with marvellous subtlety the metaphy- 
sical system of the Konigsberg philosopher, essayed in vain 
to break through this fatal result, and to pass from the 
absolute Ego of Descartes and Kant to objective reality. 
Then arose Hegel, enlightened and warned by the failure 
of his predecessors, and he laid down the problem under a 
new form, making it rise out of the absolute. Being, said 
he, is the undetermined absolute, in face of which you are 
situated like the eye that gazes on the sun, dazzled and 
blinded, and incapable of perceiving anything clearly, be- 
cause everything strikes you simultaneously. 

That which is absolutely unlimited is to you equal to 
zero, all becomes identical with nothing ; absolute being is 
equivaleut to entire negation. 

The rigorous consequence of this doctrine was the im- 
possibility of knowing God, the Absolute, directly, and by 
any other means than by an intermediary, a mediator be- 
tween Him and us. It was a mortal blow struck at ration- 
alism and at deism, though this has not been generally per- 
ceived and acknowledged. Hegel, who foresaw the incon- 
ceivable fecundity of his system, became himself bewildered, 
seized with giddiness, and partially blinded by it. By one 
of those mysterious contradictions so often found in great 
thinkers, he was unfaithful to his own theory, and erected 
that very theory into the Absolute. 

According to Hegel's system, contraries do not exclude, 
but on the contrary imply, one another. This proposition, 
which ignorance can alone prevent us from accepting, is a 
vulgar, palpable, imiversal fact, presenting itself to our 
eyes incessantly in Nature and in ourselves. We cannot 



30 CHRISTIANITY 



take a step without striking against tliis inevitable anti- 
nomy of two terms opposed, which imply and define each 
other, as the down thrust at one end of a lever and the up- 
ward thrust at the other. Night implies and defines day, 
so does cold imply and define heat, movement repose, imity 
diversity, force matter. Suppress one of these two terms, 
and the other instantaneously disappears. 

Every proposition, therefore, is a negative ; every notion 
has in it the idea of the opposite to itself But again, all 
negation is affirmation. Admit a third, intermediate term, 
and in it these mutual contradictions are resolved into 
friendly contrast. Thus, in this one hypothetical concept 
diversities are included, differences are conciliated, and 
contradictions are effaced; for this "moment" which is the 
Ideal embraces all in its entirety, and binds every moment 
phase and expression of being, which relatively negative 
each other, into unity. 

Thus, in man, the Indefinite conciliates the relative and 
the personal, the limited and the unlimited, reason and 
sentiment. And man himself is the "moment" between 
the world and the Absolute, part divine, part animal, united 
in the simplicity of an unique personality, destined to live 
in otlier men and in all creatures, to make all li^'e in God. 
AYhat more admirable conception than this, of man restor- 
ing the universe to unity, its eternal principle, without 
anywhere effacing distinction. 

According to the Hegelian method, imity can never be- 
come uniformity, for unity exacts diversity as its antino- 
mical moment, without which it could not exist ; and 
diversity implies unity as its raison d'etre. Thus nature 
constantly engaged in analysis, in developing individualities, 
in particularizing and specializing, is incapable of falling 
into a chaos of conflicting elements, for this analytical pro- 



THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES 31 

cess implies the opposite, or syntlietic process wliicli unifies 
all these individualities, and conciliates all in a totality of 
being. 

Thus man is also an antinomy. He represents Being 
under the two contradictory terms which constitute him ; 
\st, that which is indefinite and indetermined, which is 
called Spirit ; %ul, that wdiich is determined and definite, 
which is vulgarly called body, and in philosophical lan- 
guage, limit. Such is the radical antinomy. But these 
terms are only fixed points imagined for our orientation. 
The body is always changing and shifting its relations, and 
the spirit is in incessant progress also. Man, in reality, is 
movement ; and these terms express, not places of arrest, 
but the double orientation, one towards God, the other 
towards the world. Though these two words signify oppo- 
sition, we might almost say contradiction, it by no means 
follows that they exclude each other. On the contrary, if 
the undetermined, the spirit, was always unlimited, without 
formulae to define and determine it, it would know nothing, 
it Avould be incapable of knowing anything. These terms, 
apparently opposed and contradictory, imply one another, 
and unite in a simple term which, giving to tlie undeter- 
mined a form which defines and limits it, constitutes the 
conception, the idea. 

But the contraries thus conciliated, the antinomy reap- 
pears; for this conception or idea contains in itself two 
things opposed, tlie living, spirit which is the essence, and 
the form or letter wliich is the boundary and limit. Thus, 
for instance, the astronomer, after ha\'ing determined the 
rotation of tlie eartli on its own axis in twenty-four hours, 
determines its movement al)0ut the sun in three hundred 
and sixty-five days. These two opposed movements are 
identified by him in a sole force which produces both. 



32 CHRISTIANITY 



But tlie antinomy thus effaced, another rises np under 
another form, and continues to exist indefinitely, as a series 
of equations always resohdng into higher equations, inces- 
santly approximating the total astronomical verity, towards 
which they tend interminably, without being able to reach 
it finally. 

This is one of the manifestations of the infinite which 
we find everywhere. "What man does in astronomy, he 
does in every aspect of life. He incessantly formulates 
himself in sentiments, thoughts and acts, which are so 
many diverse terms of the movement of his life, but which 
are never its extreme limit. For his life, incessantly gain- 
ing in acti^'ity by these progressive determinations, breaks 
successively the dead forms at the same moment that it 
assumes them, to emerge into new sentiments, ideas and 
acts, which it will again escape from in its unflagging and 
indefinite ascension. 

Thus there opens out to man a magnificent prospect of 
advance in the acquisition of truth, beauty and goodness ; 
for if these are three asjoects of the Ideal, three indefinite 
realities never to be attained in their entirety, because by 
their nature they are infinite, the progress of man in science, 
art and virtue is without possible limit. 

He can never arrive at the term of knowledge, never 
exhaust the circle of the sciences, he can never reach the 
boundary of the beautiful, but like the waves of the mighty 
sea, form after form of loveliness will break upon the shore 
of his perception, he will never attain the perfection of 
virtue, but goodness will present an infinite variety of 
modulations as the relations of men alter, so as to be always 
fresh, always new ; the materials may be always the same, 
but the kaleidoscopic changes will be infinitely diversified. 

We say that science is in its infancy ; it will never be- 



THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES 33 

come clecrepid, for if truth be infinite, there will always be 
new aspects of it to be discovered. Art cannot become 
worn out ; from change to change it will alter its type, but 
each type will be beautiful, and none will be exhaustive. 
Goodness will be infinitely varied, as the social and political 
arrangements of men are permuted and afford openings for 
new varieties and combinations of goodness. 

All this follows if we allow the Infinite, or God; if we 
do not allow Him, we fall into the bondage of the finite. 
But how are we to refuse to allow this, when we liave 
within ns the sentiment of the indefinite pointing to the 
infinite, and when without it, our existence becomes an 
enigma impossible of solution. 

As I have said before, God's existence escapes demon- 
stration ; it is idle to ask reason to prove what is beyond 
its scope, for reason is the faculty of dealing with the finite. 
If we accept the existence of God, it will have to be as an 
axiom; but a necessary axiom, for the existence of the 
finite implies its contrary the infinite. 

If the existence of the sentiment of the indefinite be 
objected to, I answer, have I not a sense of beauty, goodness 
and truth ? can I not distinguish the beautiful from the 
ugly, the good from the evil, truth from falsehood ? If I 
have, and no one can dispute this, then I have a second term 
leading to the third, the existence of God. From the finite 
I rise to the sense of the indefinite, and thence I arrive at 
the infinite which completes the problem. I have the 
opposite and the conciliatory " moments." 

If I accept Hegel's hypothesis of the conciliation of 
antinomies, I cannot avoid the conclusion that God exists 
as the opposed pole to the world of finalities. 

And what is more, without the idea of God, or the In- 
finite, science, art and morals are impossible. The sense 

c 



34 CHRISTIANITY 



of the Infinite is to the human intelligence what the sim is 
to physical nature. If in imagination we extinguish the 
sun, the world falls into chaos and darkness. So is it with 
the idea of the Infinite. Suppress it, and man dies intel- 
lectually. If phenomenal light be the vital agent of visible 
creation, the notion of the infinite, or of sovereign perfection, 
is the invisible light, the life of the spiritual creation. 

Let us take the exact sciences as an illustration. At 
the j)oint of departure of arithmetic is found, not, as is 
vulgarly explained, number, but that which is at every 
point inverse, unity, which lies at the root of all numbers, 
but which none of them can arrive at and equal. The unit 
is not engendered ; it does not multiply itself, it is always 
itself its own sum and product. Midtiplied or divided 
by itself, it gives itself alone ; it cannot be multiplied or 
divided. 

What revealed this mystery to our intelligence ? Every- 
thing in this world is an effect, issues from father and 
mother, results from some previous combination; everything 
is indefinitely multipliable, and subject to the law of divi- 
sion; all changes; consequently nothing in the visible world 
could have given us the idea of the unit. 

The immutable, unengendered, immultipliable, and in- 
divisible unit is the infinite Being: thus the unity of God 
is at the commencement of the exact sciences, as it is at 
the root of all equations. When the genius of man broke 
through the bounds in which numbers held him captive, he 
placed in the midst of them the infinite, and progress opened 
out to him an unlimited perspective. 

Ujion the idea of the infinite geometry rests; for the line, 
from which all its formulae are derived, starts from a point, 
an indivisible unit, without length, breadth, or depth, and 
which produces all; the invisible measuring all that is 



THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES 35 

visible, the indefinite of the thoiiglit which cannot be seen or 
felt, but which defines and gives shape to all bodies. In 
fact, geometry is the science of the forms of matter, and the 
idea of form is synonymous with that of limit. Thus from 
the unlimited limitation proceeds. 

Algebra is only generalized arithmetic, and one may say 
of this phase of the science of numbers what was said of 
arithmetic itself. But what if we speak of the infinitesimal 
calculus, that synthesis of mathematics which has enabled 
them to make such giant strides, and which lives upon the 
idea of the infinite, or ra,ther, of the indefinite, Avhich 
operates on it alone, reveals it everywhere present, between 
all numbers, above and below them, in the cypher and in 
the fraction, in the indefinitely great and in the indefinitely 
small, in all equations and in all their relations, and which 
might be called science calculating the indefinite every- 
where ? 

Thus, in the sciences which are called exact, and with 
which men have laboured, and labour still, to dethrone the 
supra-sensible verity, they are unable to do without it any 
more than in the moral and religious and aesthetic sciences. 
Everything is limited in creation; but athwart all limits 
intelligence divines the Infinite. In the phenomenal world 
there is incessant flux, but the eternal verity remains; it is 
the immutable axis of all science. Everything in the mo- 
tions and actions of man is bounded, and nevertheless every- 
thing Avithin him aspires to and supposes the infinite as his 
supreme end. 

What is all creation but an aspiration towards what it 
presupposes, the Infinite, from the atom to the globes that 
revolve in space, from the mineral to the man? It is an 
always progressive ascent of life, by overstepping limit after 
limit, from the narrower to the larger; it is Hegel's processus. 



36 CHRISTIANITY 



The mineral life is an escape from the limit which separates 
atoms, simple bodies; vegetable life assimilates by intus- 
susceptation that which in the mineral was only juxtaposed; 
another boundary is overthrown; animal life breaks through 
the limitation of place which tied the plant to one spot, 
and obtains the faculty of motion; and man in his in- 
tellectual life follows tlie same law, spiring upwards, forming 
and breaking the moulds he makes as they become too strait 
for his spirit. 

That to which all things tend is universal unity; the 
means is the sentiment of the indefinite, which is nothing- 
else but the Ego, or human personality itself, having cog- 
nizance of its own life as a movement of aspiration without 
limits tov/ards the beautiful, the good, and the true. But 
what is this aspiration but the sentiment of perfection in all 
things ? 

Our senses are impressed by the beings that compose the 
world; we are infallibly certain that there exist between 
us and them constant relations; but we do not find in these 
creatures the basis of our appreciations, the reason of the 
laws which govern them, or tlie relations that unite them. 
Nor is our own personality the rule or criterium of our 
judgments, though it is within us. If we attend to the 
process within ourselves, we discover that there is a criterium 
which is not ourselves, and which approves or rejects our 
decisions. This tribunal is the sentiment of perfection, or 
conscience of what is good, beautiful, and true; in the order 
of good it is what is commonly called conscience; in the 
order of arts it is the sense of tlie beautiful; in the in- 
tellectual order it is the conviction of truth; in the practical 
order it is justice; in logic it is the base and criterium of 
ovir premisses for concluding from the finite to the infinite. 
Under all these aspects, this sentiment implies three tilings: 



THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES 37 

— a type of absolute perfection by which one compares 
everything upon which one is called to judge; a relation 
between this prototype and the object or being which is 
compared with it; and an act whicli judges of the relation 
of perfection in whicli one stands to the other. 

The living type of absolute perfection is God. "Not only," 
said Descartes, " do I know that I am an imperfect being, 
incomplete and dependent on another, who tend and aspire 
incessantly towards something greater and better than I am; 
but I know at the same time that He from whom I depend 
possesses in Himself all those great things to which I aspire, 
not indefinitely and potentially, alone, but actually and in- 
finitely, and that thus He is God. " ^ 

The act which affirms the relation between the divine 
type of absolute perfection and us, is ourselves in our liberty 
and free-will judging according to our reason, our will, and 
our sentiment. 

And what is the relation, the axis uniting the type with 
the antitype, the positive with the negative pole ? 

What is that relation which touches on one side the in- 
finite and on the other the finite, the absolute and the 
limited, spirit and matter? 

That is v\diat we shall answer when we speak of the In- 
carnate Word. 

The good, the true, and the beautiful, are three faces of 
the same ideal of perfection, the Infinite. The good is not 
separable from the true, nor the true from the beautiful. 
They are distinct, yet indissolul)ly one. That wiiich is good 
is also true and beautiful. That which is false cannot be 
good, nor can it be beautiful. That which is beautiful must 
be true and good. It is impossible to scind these distinct 
aspects of perfection. The philosopher seeking truth errs 

1 Meditations, i. p. 290. 



38 CHRISTIANITY 



if he attempts to oppose what is certain to what is goodly. 
The artist is mistaken if he seeks beauty apart from truth; 
and what pure act of virtue is not marvellous in its loveliness ! 

The three sciences, ethics, logic, sesthetics, based on these 
three aspects of the Infinite, are therefore not to be separated 
and opposed, for they complement one another and com- 
plete what would otherwise be fragmentary. 

In ethics, the conscience judges, according to a sliding 
scale ; what it judges at one time to be admissible and good, 
it decides, as its experience grows, or as circumstances alter, 
to be inadmissible and bad. That which was right one day 
is wrong the next, for as conscience grows, its perception 
strengthens, and it discriminates with greater acuteness; its 
powers of analysis increase, not for the purpose of dividing 
and opposing, but for the purpose of reducing what is divided 
and opposed to unity. 

Evil is the rejection of the infinite for the finite, the 
declension from one pole to the other, and perversion of 
the moral sense. When the infinite is lost sight of, the 
sentiment of the indefinite loses its character, and the science 
of ethics is at an end. Morality is impossible without a 
sense of the indefinite, and the sense of the indefinite supposes 
the infinite source of good, or God. How can there be morality 
without a law, and how can there be law without a lawgiver. 

If we pass from conscience to the vrorld of reason, we 
find that the cause of all error in the science of God, man 
and the universe, consists in oblivion or an insufficient notion 
of one of these three terms. Psychologists and ontologists 
have not clearly seen that the co-ordination of these three 
terms is necessary for the attainment of certainty. All, 
starting from one of these terms, by method of division, 
have ended in abstraction. In placing man outside of unity, 
they have placed him outside of life. The first have de- 



THE CONCILIATION OF ANTINOMIES 39 

taclied all the faculties of the human soul from God, and 
have examined them by themselves, forgetting tliat it is 
impossible to know an object without examining it in all 
the conditions of its nature. The second have despoiled 
man of his nature as a living being, and have robbed his 
ideas of their reality. And because they have taken them 
in the abstract, all their deductions, all their conclusions are 
void, without practical application, without other result than 
weariness of spirit and deadness of heart. 

If we pass to the region of art, we find that its vigour de- 
pends on the recognition of the Ideal, the relation and the 
world ; the rupture of this union is the dissolution of art. 
The conception of the ideal cannot furnish man with 
aesthetic principles apart from the relation. The Jew had 
a sublime faith in the Infinite of perfection, but He was 
isolated from the world, the relation uniting them was un- 
recognized or unknown, and Jewdom was sterile of art. The 
Greek looked on man as perfection, his ideal did not trans- 
cend the "human form divine;" and beautiful as was the 
plastic art in his hands, it wanted something, the divine. 
The world without the idea of God, what is it ? a riddle ; it 
is without truth unless He be its law, without beauty unless 
He be its meaning. Take away the idea of God, the infinite 
perfection, and there is no sense of perfection, no power of 
discriminating between the beautiful and the offensive. 

In discussing Christianity, I propose to apply to it the 
Hegelian method. Some premiss must be taken ; I adopt 
that of Hegel, because I believe it to be true ; and because 
it throws a vivid light upon a body of doctrine which has 
been buried in obscurity. The importance of Hegel's method 
I think it impossible to over-estimate. It has begun to re- 
volutionize philosophy ; if it has not at once wrought the 
effects which Hegel foresaw, it is because he himself was 



40 CHRISTIANITY 



hardly lucid enough in his exposition of it to place it at the 
disposition of all thinkers. He has been misunderstood, 
and his method has been abused ; but of its importance, and 
of the part it is destined to play in the elucidation of the 
Christian scheme, I am firmly convinced. I believe that 
if the modern intellect is to be reconciled to the dogma of 
the Incarnation, it will be through Hegel's discovery. Let 
the reader bear in mind that I start from the premiss of two 
terms, opposed and defining one another, conciliated by an 
intermediate term ; and with this key I hope to open the 
mysteries of the Christian religion. 

The great German innovating philosopher saw that his 
method was destined to revivify Christianity ; according to 
him, the dogma of the Man-God expressed the veritable 
unity of the subject and the object, not under the form of 
reflected notion, but imder that of symbolic representation 
enshrined in the history of one person. He applied his 
doctrine to the orthodox dogma of the Trinity. Science, 
said he, teaches us that the absolute traverses three mo- 
ments, that of the idea in itself, then that of the idea out of 
itself, or the gradual realization of the idea through in- 
numerable negations, and finally that of the identity of the 
real with the ideal. The first moment is the reign of the 
Father, of God considered as abstract and anterior to the 
created world ; the second moment, or the development of 
the world, corresponds with the second person of the Trinity, 
the Son. The third moment is that in which the absolute 
arrives at the knowledge of itself as spirit, through the pro- 
cession of finite causes, and this is the Holy Ghost.^ 

But into the doctrine of the Trinity it is not my purpose 
to enter specially, but to confine myself to the theory, and 
to the application, of the dogma of the Incarnation. 
1 Hegel : Philosophic der Religion. 



THE BASIS OF TRUTH 41 



CHAPTER III 

THE BASIS OF TKUTH 
" Wahrtieit, O Cott, ist dein X^/i."i— Wieland. 

Truth is relative — The antipodes of truth — antagonistic ideas — the anti- 
nomy in man — Egoism and sympatliy — "Contradictories radically 
exclude one another" an exploded axiom — The centre of gravity of 
Truths — The Ideal conciliates all — Conciliation of reason and senti- 
ment — No absolute falsehood— Error the opposition of one relative truth 
against another to the exclusion of the latter — All truths positive — Nega- 
tions are nothing — Private judgment the negation of other judgments — 
Private judgment the negation of absolute Truth — The proper function 
of private judgment — It is the resolution of what is true to the individual 
self — Universal truth the combination of all appreciations of truth. 

rpitUTH, sucli as it appears to us, can only be relative, 
-^ because we ourselves, being relative creatures, have 
only a relative perception and judgment. We appreciate 
tliat which is true to ourselves, not that which is universally 
true. And truth may well assume an aspect to one dif- 
ferent from that it assumes to another. 

When two men stand face to face, the right of one is the 
left of the other, and vice versa. The rising sun in one 
hemisphere is the setting sun in the other; the zenith of 
one is the nadir of the other ; when one hemisphere is en- 
joying day the other is steeped in darkness. The winter 

• Truth, God, is Thy body. 



42 CHRISTIANITY 



of the arctic regions is tlie summer of tlie antarctic pole. 
Tlie descent of one scale is the ascent of the other. In a 
word, everything in the world is inverse. 

When we talk to English children of the antipodes, they 
think that the men there walk with their heads downwards ; 
and to New Zealanders we ourselves are reversed. This is 
at once true and false for each. True, if each considers the 
other from his own point of view, with reference to himself 
alone, but false to both if they consider themselves parts of 
a whole whose centre of gravity is under the feet of one 
and the other. 

Before Newton discovered the law of gravitation, the 
New Zealanders did actually for Euglish people walk 
head downwards, for the relative method of viewing the 
antipodes was the only method at their disposal. 

But now that the law of gravitation to a centre is known, 
it is indicative of childish ignorance to suppose such to be 
actually the case, though relatively it remains unalterably 
the same. 

In the world of ideas the notions of one man are the 
inverse of those in another man. And in every man's 
own head there is a duality, which often eventuates in an 
antagonism. What is head upwards to the sentiment is 
often head downwards to the reason. Faith and logic 
range themselves on opposite sides. Liberty revolts against 
authority, and authority imposes on liberty. That which 
is right to the individual is wrong to the society; that 
which is true to reason is false to sentiment. 

In nature, the law of gravitation governing bodies is 
the opposition of two contrary forces, the centripetal and 
the centrifugal. This antinomical principle reappears in 
all combinations of matter as positive and negative elec- 
tricity, in its composites as statics and dynamics. 



THE BASIS OF TRUTH 43 



" The Solarians," says Campanella, in his City of the Sun, 
" think that there exists a marvellous harmony between 
the worlds celestial, terrestrial, and moral." The parallelism 
is exact. In each there is an antinomy, in all a harmonizing 
momentum, bringing the oppositions and contradictions 
to rest. 

From the moment the child enters the world it manifests 
one pre-eminent force, the instinct of self-conservation, or 
of egoism. Presently, however, another instinct appears. 
It turns from its mother's breast, and spreads its hands 
towards the flowers, plays with the kitten, and smiles upon 
its brothers. That which draws the infant out of itself 
towards exterior forms is the centrifugal force — the senti- 
ment, the sympathetic instinct, a liidden magnetism, a 
veiled ray from the great hearth of love which warms and 
animates the universe. These twin tendencies, opposed as 
they are, incessantly contradicting one another, are the prin- 
ciiile of all activity. Favoured or repressed, directed aright 
or warped, they determine the nature of the passions which 
agitate the man, and of the virtues which govern his soul. 

The instinct of egoism gathers all surrounding materials 
into the ever self-forming and vitally persistent centre : it 
is an inward spiritual energy concentrating, comprehending, 
contracting all to one geometric point, and the instinct of 
sympathy is the dispersion of self over an indefinitely out- 
spreading surface. Egoism draws the world into an apex, 
sympathy spreads it into an extended plain. The egoistic 
instinct teaches man what he owes to himself, the sympa- 
thetic instinct tells him what is due to his neighbours. That 
they contradict one another perpetually who can deny ? 
that they are capable of harmonization who can doubt ? 

If the axiom of ancient heathen logic, which laid down 
that contradictories radically exclude one another, that be- 



44 CHRISTIANITY 



tween two things in opposition one cannot be accepted 
without a rejection of the other, be a true axiom, the con- 
ciliation of all possible aspects of thought and feeling, nay 
more, of opposing facts, can only be irrational. 

No doubt this principle is true in the sense that one 
cannot affirm of the same thing, under the same relations, 
that it is and is not ; that, for instance, the sun revolves 
on its axis, and does not. This axiom, the base of the 
mathematical method, is at bottom simply this : — every 
negation is only a negation, that is, it is Nothing. 

But this axiom is completely false, comprehended in the 
sense that things relatively opposed are not absolutely con- 
ciliable, that unity excludes distinction, and reciprocally 
that variety excludes unity ; in other terms, that a thing 
cannot be opposed to itself; for, on the contrary, this 
antinomy in the principle, and antagonism in the relation, 
is the most general— indeed, it is the only general — law with 
wliich we are acquainted. 

But if we suppose that in the ideal world there is a 
centre of gravity, then the antinomy is conciliated at once. 
To recur for a moment to the instance of our antipodes. 
In intelligence we are all great children. Every idea sees 
the inverse idea head downwards, that is to say, it envis- 
ages it as the antipodes of truth. Thence arises universal 
division, general contradiction. Every man's view of truth 
is alone right, every one else's is wrong. 

But if we divest ourselves of this optical hallucination, 
and endeavour to understand that, in the world of ideas, 
truth, like the earth, has two poles, that one idea no more 
excludes the inverse idea than the arctic pole excludes the 
antarctic pole ; that, on the contrary, they imply each other, 
by defining and completing one another, — we arrive at an 
imiversal conciliation. 



THE BASIS OF TRUTH 45 



Thus, reason and sentiment cease to be absolutely an- 
tagonistic, for eacli complements the other, and the antinomy 
in man's soul becomes an harmonious discord. 

Love is the sense of the universal and undefinable, and 
reason is that of the i^articular and defined. The first re- 
veals to us life by that mysterious phase of the infinite 
which can be felt but not expressed, and the other makes 
us know it by the intelligible side, which determines the 
sense and fixes the idea. 

Without assuming a centre from which they both radiate, 
or to which both tend as a focus, the conflict must remain 
undecided and interminable, but if we admit an ideal, each 
assumes its place and lives at peace with the other ; there 
is no invasion of each other's functions, no confusion in 
rights. 

As then, every idea has its opposite, and every idea in 
itself is true to the individual judgment which realizes it, 
and is a radiation from the central truth, it follows that there 
is no such thing as absolute falsehood. "What is true to 
one is false to another, and that which is false to the second 
is truth to the first. But this falsehood is merely relative ; 
false only when seen from the point of view of the in- 
dividual, but from the centre of gravity of ideas one idea is 
as true as another, and the false is not ; indeed it is incon- 
ceivable. 

A ray of light penetrates a dark room. I can distinguish 
the course of the ray, and point out where it is, and where 
it is not, but when I move into the ray, I see the sun in 
itself, and of the ray as a ray I am unconscious, I can no 
lonirer tell where it is and where it is not. So truths seen 
sideways are relative and cut off from error, but seen full 
face streaming from the absolute, error does not exist, nor 
is truth limited and defined and contradicted. 



46 CHRISTIANITY 

The idea conceived by man being relative as regards other 
ideas, is determined by the point at Avhich the mind is 
situated, in the same manner as the position of the body on 
the globe determines the zenith ; complete verity therefore 
to man will consist in the synthesis of all relations, that is 
to say, in the simultaneous admission of all ideas, con- 
ciliating thus all intellectual antipodes. Every idea seeing 
naturally an inverse idea — head downwards — must rectify 
its ocular mistake by considering the ideal of universal 
gravitation, whence all are visil)le in their totality, all in 
their true directions, and none as negations and errors. 

Lactantius approached this sublime truth, as may l)e 
judged from the following passage. " It is," says he ; " be- 
cause the philosophers have not been able to establish this 
body of doctrine, that they have misunderstood the Truth. 
It is not that they did not see and develop the majority of 
those things of wliich this body of doctrine is composed" — 
he refers to the Catholic faith ; — " but that each of them 
enunciated and established them in a different manner. 
None of them bound them together, bringing together 
causes and effects, principles and consequences. All gave 
themselves up to a blind and insensate passion for contra- 
diction. ... If among them there had arisen a man wise 
enough to gather up into one all the scattered verities, and 
to shape them into one body, his doctrine would have been 
entirely conformable to ours ; but that could only be done 
by him who possessed the true science ; and the true science 
belongs alone to those whom God Himself has designed to 
instruct." ^ 

Eour men stand gazing at a statue ; one is before it, an- 
other behind it, the other two occupy opposite sides. 

The first observes two eyes, a nose and a mouth. The 
1 De VitaBeata, lib. vii. 7. 



THE BASIS OF TRUTH 47 

second sees neither eyes nor nose nor moutli, but the hack 
parts. The other two see each a different eye and ear and 
half a month. 

If we collect the observations of all four men, we obtain 
a pretty complete idea of the whole statue ; but the view 
of each, by himself, is partial, true in itself, but false if 
that which is partial be assumed to be the entire truth. 
So is it with absolute verity. Every one of u.s contemplates 
it from a different standpoint and with different perspective. 
No man is able to embrace at once and in all its aspects 
that truth or perfection which is infinite, because he him- 
self is a finite being, and he sees only a corner, an angle 
corresponding to his moral, intellectual or sesthetical pre- 
dispositions. For him that is truth, and that alone ; and 
as every man differs from every one else in his predispo- 
sitions, whether native or acquired, every one beholds a 
different phase, and pretends that his own visual angle is 
the entire plan, and that one detail is the totality of the 
statue. 

"What then is Error ? It is nothing fjcr se. It is the 
opposition of one relative truth against another to the 

exclusion of the latter. 

Man has no knowledge of things except by the thoughts 
present to his mind ; that is, he can only know what is 
thinkable. 

The only knowledge man has of his thoughts is by theii 
expression, consequently, every material bemg that can 
be conceived by the _mind exists or can exist. He may 
imagine what is incongruous, as the sphinx. But his 
imagination is a piecing together of realities, not a creation 
out of nothing. 

Every intellectual idea, therefore, which is or may be 
named, either is or may be ; and all the philosophers the 



48 CHRISTIANITY 



"world has produced may be defied to figure or name an 
impossible idea ; for, how can that which is not nor can be, 
how, I ask, can it be represented or rendered present by- 
name or figure ? 

Therefore, all the thoughts of men are true, or represen- 
tatives of things that are. 

As Bossuet well observes : " Everything which can be 
understood is true. When one is deceived, it is that one 
does not understand. The false, which, in itself, is nothing, 
is neither understood nor is it intelligible. Truth is that 
which is, the false is that wdiicli is not. One can easily 
understand that which is, but it is impossible to understand 
that which is not. We believe at times that we do under- 
stand it, and this it is precisely which constitutes error; 
but, in fact, we do not understand it, for it has no 
existence." ^ 

Three men. A, B, and C, find a rose. A is colour-blind, 
B has no sense of smell, and C has lost all feeling in his 
hands. A affirms of the flower that it is fragrant, soft- 
petalled, and has a rough, thorny stem. B asserts that the 
rose has a rich crimson colour, but contradicts the state- 
ment of A that it has a scent. C declares that it has 
neither softness nor roughness, and A intei'poses to deny 
the assertion of B that the rose has colour. 

A bystander, who is blind, or does not happen to see 
the object of discussion, concludes that as three men 
mutually contradict each other in every particular, the 
rose has no existence. 

Now the idea conceived by A was true as far as it went, 
but it did not extend to the perception of those several 
verities which were asserted by B and C. And so of the 
other two. Consequently each was true in what he as- 

' De la Connaissance de Dieu et de Soi-meme, c. i. sec. 16. 



THE BASIS OF TRUTH 49 

serted and each was Avrong in what he denied ; and the 
bystander was most wrong in rejecting the positive state- 
ments and drawing his conclusions from the negations. 

Now, if 1 assume my own view to be alone infallible, I 
make my own private judgment the measure of truth to all 
men. I only admit in their views as much as agTees with 
my own, and I stigmatize all that is beyond my range as 
erroneous. By so doing I make my breast the centre of 
truth, and I deny absolute truth, the all-conciliating. My 
private judgment is the sole authority and criterium of 
justice, goodness, and beauty. I am thrown into antagonism, 
more or less, with every one else. 

Two courses are open to me, I must choose one or the 
other at the peril of being untrue to myself. I must Ije- 
come an anthropophagist or a sceptic. 

If I hold my own opinion to be absolute truth, my own 
judgment to be the only measm^e of truth, I constitute my- 
self God ; I impose my will on all whom I can constrain ; or 
else, seeing contradictions everywhere, between men, and 
between the elements of my own nature, I deny the exist- 
ence of truth, goodness, and beauty : I am like the bystander 
who disbeHeved in the rose. 

There is no middle term rationally possible. I must 
doubt everything, or realize my faith by exterminating 
every obstacle. Such, if the Ideal be denied, is the only 
alternative for men who are logical and strong. If the 
vulgar adopt a stupid medium course, that is only a 
proof of their Avant of intelligence and of their weak- 
ness. Personal autocracy is not, and never can be, an 
institution, it is a perpetual dissolution of morals, law and 
religion. 

For, if my own opinion be the criterium of right, ex- 
clusive of other opinions, I am above aU law ; that only is 

D 



so CHRISTIANITY 



wrong wliicli I deem wrong, and my own self-interest will 
make me 

" Condone for sins I am inclined to 
By damning tliose I have no mind to. " 

The private judgment of Muncer found in the Scriptures 
that titles of nobility and great estates are impious usurpa- 
tions, contrary to the natural equality of the faithful, and he 
invited his followers to examine if this were not the case. 
They examined into the matter, praised God, and then 
proceeded by fire and sword to extirpate the impious and 
possess themselves of their properties. Private judgment 
made the discovery in the Bible that established laws Avere 
a permanent restriction on Christian liberty ; and John of 
Leyden, throwing away his tools, put himself at the head of 
a mob of fanatics, surprised the town of Miinster, proclaimed 
himself king of Sion, and took fourteen wives at a time, 
asserting that polygamy was Bible liberty, and the privilege 
of the saints. 

That personal autocracy is the destruction of religion is 
evident from the nature of the case ; it is the negation of 
absolute law, and may be called personal theocracy or auto- 
theism, for the individual thereby assumes a right and 
supremacy which is not the subordination of God to man, 
but the annihilation of God before the individual man. 

If the upholders of private judgment as a law of uni- 
versal application be not invariably atheists, the reason is 
that they are illogical, and stop short of the inevitable 
result to which their premisses must conduct them. The 
doctrine of personal infallibility is a reaction against theo- 
cratic or governmental autocracy. It docs not establish a 
false relation between God and man, but it does away with 
the relation, because it deifies the man. Man, master of 
the absolute, is himself absolute ; master of the law, he is 



THE BASIS OF TRUTH 51 

liimself tlie law. There can be no priestliood, because 
each man becomes priest to himself. Eeligiously, socially, 
civilly, politically, every one has right over the law, and 
he only wants the power to trample on it. This right of 
each over the law would seem at iirst sight to give a 
general equality, but an equality without a recognition of 
the Absolute is an impossibility, for there is no possibility 
of harmony when every man is absolute, when each has 
unlimited rights, and none have duties. That equality which 
has not the Absolute as its principle and end, but only per- 
sonal caprice,is borne down instantly before force. Each man 
having an equal right over the law, becomes the law destroy- 
ing opposing laws. Consequently every personal interest, 
caprice, or passion becomes a law ; personalities being abso- 
lute, personalities club together as their interests and pas- 
sions lU'ge them, and all little associations of interests are 
at blows, and the strongest gains the day. Thus the 
equality of an hour is destroyed; it is without duration, 
because without solid base. 

Personal autocracy has made many wars, religious, social, 
and political. By the religious and philosophic struggle, 
it has striven to affirm and prove itself to be absolute. By 
the social war it has endeavoured to unite in one the powers 
temporal and spiritual. By the political war it has erected 
the will of one man into the Law. 

Personal autocracy being the confusion of relative with 
absolute truth, conciliation of truths becomes an impossi- 
bility, and antagonism of ideas is proclaimed as the law 
of the universe, an antagonism which ends in internecine 
war. 

I have pointed out the dangers of exclusive personal 
judgment. I have now to show what is tbe proper func- 
tion of private judgment. 



52 CHRISTIANITY 



As I liave said in tlie first chapter of this volume, in 
every man is the criterium of truth. He can only know 
the just, the good and the beautiful by the faculties of his 
own soul. One man cannot know or believe for another ; 
knowledge and belief are individual acts. What is true, 
just, beautiful, good for each man, is what he feels, con- 
ceives and judges to be such in his own mind. It cannot 
be otherwise. What he feels is part of himself, what he 
knows is his own ; his ideas are determined by Ms thoughts 
and beliefs. Therefore, every man's own judgment is the 
criterium, and the only criterium of what is good, beautiful 
and true to himself, and this is acknowledged by every one 
who argues with another. I may change my opinions, 
pass from one creed to another, my convictions may un- 
dergo reversal, but the principle of private judgment by 
virtue of which the good and the true consist to me, will 
not be disturbed, but remains invariable. To every objec- 
tion and criticism, I reply. How otherwise can I judge 
except according to my conscience, my feelings and my 
knowledge ? And this reply is unanswerable. 

But if it be urged that I ought not to believe in my 
private judgment, I ask, by virtue of what do you forbid 
me its use ? Is it not precisely l)ecause you judge its 
iuadvisability. Therefore you repose on your own judg- 
ment when you deny the right to do so. 

In vain is it argued that we are to give up our private 
judgment to a revelation ; we can only admit the authority 
of the revelation by an act of our individual judgment. 
Consequently, in every one the base of all thoughts, beliefs 
and acts, is personal judgment. 

Keferriug to an inspired medium of revelation, S. Au- 
gustine says : — " If he were to speak in the Hebrew tongue, 
it would strike my senses in vain, nor would any of his 



THE BASIS OF TRUTH 



discourse reacli my understanding ; but if lie spoke in 
Latin, I should know what he said. But how should I 
know whether he spoke the truth ? And even if I knew 
this, should I know it from him ? Surely within, inwardly 
in the home of my thoughts, truth (which is neither He- 
brew, nor Greek, nor Latin, nor barbarian) without the 
organs of mouth or tongue, without the sound of syllables, 
would say. He speaks the truth ; and I, rendered certain 
immediately, should say confidently to that man. Thou 
speakest truth." ^ 

But a principle is only true if it be universal. If I 
believe in my own judgment, I am bound to believe in the 
judgments of every one else. If 1 hold my own spirit to 
have in it the criteria of truth, I must allow that the same 
criteria exist in every other spirit of the present times, of 
the ]3ast and of the future. Either conscience is the ex- 
pression of truth or it is not. If not, we can no more trust 
to reason or primary beliefs, we cannot affirm anything or 
know anything. But if it is, then it is so for every one, 
and I have no more right to contradict its expression in 
other men than I have to contradict it in myself. 

Consequently, private judgment being true for all, we 
arrive at the necessity of admitting at once and every- 
where, as equally legitimate, all the decisions of every 
man's sense, of admitting them simultaneously, with the 
Ideal as their conciliation. 

But if every positive sentiment is good and true, by the 
sole fact of its existence, it follows that a sentiment which 
contradicts another may be a good and a relative truth, 
inasmuch as it is the veritable expression of an individual 
conscience, but that it is also an evil and an error, inasmuch 
as it contradicts another sentiment, thought or will, which 

^ AufRist. Confess, xi. 



54 CHRISTIANITY 



emanates, with the same titles, from another individual 
conscience. 

If every idea is just and true, because it is, it follows 
that an idea which excludes another is an evil and an 
error, inasmuch as it is a denial of another idea equally 
just. 

It also follows, that every exclusion and negation in 
relative ideas is more or less a denial of the Absolute 
Truth, the universal Conciliator, and is more or less auto- 
theism. 

And also, that evil, error and injustice are that by which 
sentiments, thoughts, wills and acts contradict one another, 
exclude and deny one another, either in each man, or in 
the many; and that goodness, truth, and justice are that 
by which sentiments, thoughts, wills and acts unite and 
harmonize. 

And lastly, to arrive at the complete, universal, absolute 
verity, we must admit, without any exclusion, every deter- 
mination of private judgment; not to eliminate one by the 
other, but, on the contrary, to conciliate all ; and that con- 
ciliation is impossible, without the admission of an Ideal. 



THE BASIS OF RIGHT 55 



CHAPTEE IV 

THE BASIS OF EIGHT 

" Omnia qiice sunt de jure natum sunt a Deo ut auctore naturce.''^ — Suarez. 

Riglit and its relation to Liberty — -difficulty in defining Right — Is riglit a 
rational or a sentimental verity ? — Difficulty of establishing it on a 
rational basis — attempt of Hobbes — of Spinoza — of Gi'otius — of Kant — 
of Krause — confusion between right and will or force — Eight based on 
duty — a sentimental verity — Liberty alienable and inalienable — Right 
the faculty of realizing our nature — Possibility of alienating our right- 
Consequences which flow from the admission of the dogmatic basis of 
right — 1. All rights are equal — 2. All infringement of rights is im- 
moral — 3. All primitive rights are inalienable — 4. Primary rights are 
not nmtually antagonistic — The primary rights of Man — 1. Tlie right 
of personal freedom — 2. of good reputation — 3. of liberty of conscience — 
4. of expressing his convictions — 5. of appropriation — All these rights 
dogmatic. 

niHE idea of Eight requires that of Liberty to complete 
-*- it. Liberty, if not the synonym of right, is, at least, 
the faculty of exercising it. 

If I am able to lift my arm, I have an inlierent right to 
lift it ; if I have a right to live, I demand liberty to enable 
me to acquire the food necessary to sustain life. 

If there be an axiom evident to all, it is this, that liberty 
is a first necessity of existence. It is the privilege of all 
organized beings. It extends even to the plants, whose 
locomotion is purely vegetative. Because I feel that I can 



56 CHRISTIANITY 



move, I act; because I feel that I can transport mj^self 
from place to place, I walk. As organisms become more 
X)erfect, a larger field of liberty opens to them. In that 
part of the world of nature not endowed with animal life, 
there is no margin for oscillation, the eclipses of sun and 
moon may be calculated to a minute for ten thousand years, 
the return of a comet is fatal. In the animal world there 
is a small margin for oscillation; the ostrich buries her 
eggs in the sand, where " the foot may crush them, or the 
wild beast may break them," as foolishly now as in the 
days of Jol:) ; the bee will make her six-sided cell with the 
same precision and geometrical economy of space and ma- 
terial as did her ancestors in remote ages ; and as Philomel 
sang under the poplar-shades in Virgil's time she sings 
now, without an additional trill or jug. 

But man has a larger orbit and a farther swing ; he does 
now what he was unable to do in ages past ; he can speak 
his mind without having his ears cropped, and can worship 
God as he chooses without incurring deportation. 

Liberty, I know, has been denied, and man has 1jeen 
subjected by certain philosophers to a necessity which 
divests him of a particle of freedom, and with freedom he 
loses his rights. He becomes an automaton, the slave of a 
fatal despotism, a beast, nay worse — a stone. 

I have no intention of arguing for liberty, because I 
believe it to be an irrational verity, one wdiich must be 
assumed, and which can never be demonstrated. Every 
one, the veriest sceptic included, believes in liberty, and 
believes in it naturally and invincibly. He cannot eman- 
cipate himself from the belief that he has a power of option 
between two courses of action, though he may have created 
a system in which he has demonstrated that liberty is 
impossible. 



THE BASIS OF RIGHT 57 



In its origin the idea of riglit is so simple, so humble, 
one may say, that philosophers have gone elsewhere for its 
explanation. 

Eight is difficult of definition, and this points it out to 
1)0 a primary verity, or, at least, almost a primary truth. 
Every one believes he has a right to personal freedom, to 
nourish his body, and to educate his mind ; but he cannot 
explain to you what he means, when he uses the term. 
He may tell you that he demands liberty to exercise his 
right, that is, the faculty of doing what he is convinced is 
necessary, without let or hindrance. But liberty is not 
right. He may be deprived of his liberty, but not of his 
right ; that is inherent. He has a right to worship his God 
with cobwebs and dirt, if he believes Him to be an ideal of 
ugliness ; and he has a right to worship Him with incense 
and lights, if he believes Him to be an ideal of beauty ; 
despotism may interfere to sweep away his cobwebs and 
dirt, or to extinguish his incense and light, but the right 
to worship God as he thinks proper remains untouched. 

Is Eight a rational or a sentimental verity ? That is, can 
right be demonstrated by pure reason, or does it repose on 
a dogma, and fall, therefore, under the head of an irrational 
truth ? 

I believe it to be the latter. 

If we want to establish right upon an enduring basis, 
and this is a first necessity, for from it flow all moral obli- 
gations and political duties, we must find an immutable 
principle of universal application. 

This is what every philosopher has failed to effect. A 
very brief survey of the various theories of right that have 
been propounded will make this apparent. 

Hobbes laid down that man, naturally, has a right to 
everything ; that his will is the criterium of right, and that 



58 CHRISTIANITY 



its law is utility ; but inasmuch as the exercise of his will 
may react to his own disadvantage, man is obliged to re- 
strain his will and modify his liberty, to obtain permanent 
happiness. For instance, a man covets his neighbour's 
house, he has a perfect right to turn his neighbour out and 
to ta,ke it to himself; but, if he act thus, there is no security 
for his own property ; therefore he refrains from the exer- 
cise of his right in consideration of ultimate advantage. 

It is obvious that, according to this utilitarian doctrine, 
self-interest is the basis of social and political morality, if 
that can be called morality which is a negation of duty. 
There is no obligation. Every man is a supreme law to 
himself. 

Hobbes erred in this ; he mistook will for right. Self- 
interest is not a right, it is the negation of right. Because 
David lusts after Uriah's wife, he has no right to lie with 
Bathsheba, and to slay Uriah with the sword of the children 
of Ammon. 

As self-interest is the negation of right, it is also the 
negation of morality. If utility constitute my criterium of 
right, I may keep or violate my oath as my judgment 
deems expedient. If I am certain to escape detection, I 
may escape to America with the banker's strong-box. I 
have a right to do whatsoever I like within the limits of 
possibility, and everything is possible which is not contra- 
dictory ; consequently the field of liberty is infinite. 

But if right be the same thing as will, the strongest will 
is the strongest right, and power is the measure of right. 
Nebuchadnezzar has a right to throw the three children 
into a fiery furnace if they will not bow down to his golden 
image, and Madame de Pompadour has a right to rob 
Latude of the best years of his life, and condemn him to 
be devoured by hunger and vermin, because he has called 



THE BASIS OF RIGHT 59 



lier an ugly name exactly expressive of what slie is ; but 
then, she has the right, because, being a king's mistress, 
she has the power. 

But the right of might is not a right, it is the violation 
of riglit ; and the obligation to obey the strongest is not a 
duty, it is a physical necessity. It is playing with words 
to call that a right which is a faculty growing and waning 
with the power which imposes it, and that a duty which 
is necessary submission to a power against which resistance 
is vain. 

As Hobbes has observed, the well-being of man being 
his end, and egoism the principle of his actions, all men in 
a state of nature rush upon the same objects for the satis- 
faction of the same appetites ; and as full satisfaction of the 
appetites of all cannot constitute a state of peace, the state 
of nature is a state of warfare. 

But war is a bad state, and peace is better ; to obtain it 
men will surrender their rights, and constituting societies 
with governments at their head, will renounce their natural 
liberties. The best government will therefore be the 
strongest, and the strongest is an absolute monarchy. But 
the more absolute a monarchy is, the less liberty the sub- 
jects enjoy, and their duties merge into the one duty of 
obedience. 

Sovereignty resides in a monarch as the result of a tacit 
convention ; to him the multitude has made over irrespon- 
sible power, in order that lie may exercise it as he shall think 
expedient for their peace and common defence. The king 
therefore is the supreme and infallible judge of what is 
expedient for the people and what is inexpedient. If they 
enjoy so much liberty, it is because he wills it, not because 
they have a right to it. If the sovereign were to surrender 
his judicial rights, society would fall back, says Hobbes, 



6o CHRISTIANITY 



into its former condition of anarchy, out of which it rose 
by constituting a sovereign/ 

To this it must be objected that before a sovereignty can 
be established on a contract, it is necessary to know first 
on what conditions the contract is binding. Now a con- 
vention which binds a portion only, or binds unequally, 
cannot be the foundation of a right. I may displace the 
centre of my liberty, change the circumference of my right, 
permute my duties with my rights, in other words, I may 
give up what I have in excess in exchange for what is de- 
ficient to me, but I cannot abdicate my free-will without 
just compensation. According to Hobbes' theory the 
sovereign has all rights, but no responsibilities, for re- 
sponsibility is the dissolvent of right. Sovereignty has 
therefore no solid basis, for even if the compact took place, 
it would not constitute a right. 

Spinoza, starting from the assumption that nature is God, 
possessing a sovereign right over all things, draws the con- 
sequence that the right of the individual is nothing other 
than the power of the individual. In his system all natural 
forces are in the same rank ; the brute is equal to the man, 
the fool to the sage, the child to the adult, and the power 
of all tliese beings is the power of God. 

This power being absolute, it follows that every man has 
a right to whatever he can lay hold of The right of the 
strongest is therefore the only natural right ; every being 
has but one rule of action, determined by the tendency of 
his nature, so that it is not within his compass to be un- 
just. Spinoza is very consequent ; the strong, says he, are 
made to enslave the feeble, by the same title that big fish 
devour little ones.'^ 

^ Leviathan, c. xvii. De Cive, c. viii. 
^ Tractatiis Tlieologico-politicus, c. xvi. 



THE BASIS OF RIGHT 6i 

The right of the strongest is, as he admits, the instinct 
of the brute. 

Spinoza has, thus, mistaken force for right. 

Grotius, on the other hand, makes right consist in the 
faculty of doing all that which will not have for result the 
disturbance of the social state ; or, as he defines it, " the 
dictates of right reason governing man's actions, according 
to the convenience of his actions with his rational nature."^ 

According to this system, every action is just, which 
agrees with a right reason ; and individual right is the cor- 
relative term to the duty of another. This is confusing the 
law of society with the law of the individual. Before a 
man can ascertain his rights, and when liis liberty of choice 
and action can be exercised, he must become intimately 
acquainted with the doctrine of political economy. Eight 
is nothmg fer se but the spot of ground left uninvaded by 
the waves of duty, and that is sterile. 

The vice of this definition is, that it subjects right to all 
the fluctuations which may result from the necessities, well 
or ill understood, of society. Individual right has no 
existence by itself, it is not a principle of action, it is merely 
a faculty whose exercise is subordinated to a superior 
principle, or rather, to exigencies which Ijy their nature 
are incessantly varying, INIoreover, these exigencies, even 
if they remained invariable, might be differently appreciated, 
and that would forbid their forming a solid foundation ; for 
society is not to man an object, but a means, and its ne- 
cessities come after, do not precede, the right of the in- 
dividual. The criterium of right is, according to Grotius, 
not in me, but in every one else : he attempted to trace a 
circle without fixing its centre. 

Kant derived right from equality. " Every action is just 
1 De Jure Bdli ac Pads, lib. i. c. sec. 10. 



62 CHRISTIANITY 



which is not, or whose maxim is not, an obstacle to the 
agreement of the Mill of all with the liberty of each, accord- 
ing to the general law," and his categorical imperative is 
promulgated in these words, " Act so that the free use of 
your will may agree Avith the liberty of all." 

The objection to Kant's definition is, that it is not a de- 
finition but a law, it is a criterium by which licit acts may 
be distinguished from those which are illicit, but it is not a 
principle, it gives no fundamental notion of wliat constitutes 
right, but in its place puts a measure of appreciation. 
When he says, Place yourself in the position of your neigh- 
bour and do to him as you would be done by, he lays doAvn 
a maxim of duty, but not a principle of right. 

Krause on the other hand deduced right from necessity, 
and gave the individual a natural faculty of exacting from 
another all that was necessary for him to realize his destiny; 
in other words he considered right to be the power of the 
individual to develop his nature, and to take from others 
everything that his nature demands as a requisite for its 
perfection. 

But who is to be the criterium of this necessity ? If each 
man is to be the judge, w^e have anarchy once more, and 
force prevailing. Have I a right to sink my higher faculties, 
like the Nibelungen gold, in a flood of sensual indulgence? 
If I am the law to myself, if my will and judgment are 
absolute, I have the right to do so. Have I a right to cut 
my throat if fortune ceases to smile on me ? Most certamly, 
if my will is the measure of right. 

If we assume that man has his own nature to realize, his 
facidties to develop, his gross passions to subordinate to his 
mental powers, himself, in short, to create, this is a duty ; 
and a duty is authoritative, and the author imposing it on 
man can be no other than God. 



THE BASIS OF RIGHT 63 

Krause's doctrine is satisfactory enough if the idea of 
duty be admitted, that is, if his system be underpropped by 
dogma, but without dogma it must fall. To realize our 
destiny is either a duty or it is optional. If it is at our 
option, we are reduced to the position of assuming in- 
dividual will to be the basis of right. 

The theories of right we have been considering have 
proved erroneous or insufficient; for they have either identi- 
fied right witli the will, or with force, or have confused it 
with authority. 

If self-interest be the principle of right, men are armed 
by it for fratricidal war, and against such a principle the 
moral sense protests, because it launches society into ab- 
solutism. Force is the annihilation of rights and liberties, 
and cannot be mistaken for it. Eight cannot emanate from 
society as its first source, for society is the assembly of in- 
dividuals, and it can only have such rights as belong to its 
constituents. It cannot found individual right, for right is 
not of human creation. The bird and the fish have their 
rights without having constituted societies. Kant's equality 
gives no sufficient explanation, for it is a result, not a 
principle, and the necessity of Krause will not make a right, 
unless that necessity be supposed to be due to the fiat of a 
Creator. 

If all these principles fail, wq are brought, by way of ex- 
clusion, to the only principle that remains, on which right 
may be permanently based — the idea of duty to God. 

Duty is the faculty of doing freely, and if necessarily, 
forcibly, that which is imposed on man by God. It is a 
dogma, and must be accepted as an irrational verity. We 
can have our rights and demand liberty on no other con- 
dition. 

If we are creatures of God, we are morally bound to ac- 



64 CHRISTIANITY 



complisli our destiny, and we have a riglit to do so freely, 
and to resist to tlie uttermost, as immoral, every assault 
made upon it. Admit duty as the basis of right, and every 
difficulty vanishes. Seek a rational basis of right, and you 
are precipitated into despotism or inconsequence. 

Eight is a form of Truth. It must reside primarily 
in God, and relatively in man by communication, or it must 
be absolute in man. If it be absolute in man, there is not 
such a thing as duty, responsibility, morality. The result 
is the despotism of every man as far as his force can con- 
trol the wills and actions of others, — a despotism monarch- 
ical, aristocratic, or democratic. 

But if I recognize God as absolute, my rights and duties 
fall into their proper places, and can each be rationally ac- 
counted for. 

If I have a right to the fruits of my toil, it is because to 
provide for the sustenance of my life is a duty I owe to 
the giver of my life. If I have a right to freedom of worship, 
it is because worship is a duty I owe to my Creator. I de- 
mand the liberty of the press, because it is my duty to 
teach what I believe to be the truth. 

There is not a single riglit to be discovered without a 
duty from wliich it springs. 

Assuming the link between man and God, the idea of 
duty is the mother of right. Eight, in its generality, is 
nothing else than that which ought to be realized by the 
activity of free beings, that is to say, it is duty considered 
from an objective point of view. The free creature finds 
itself, by the fact of its creation, subject to duty ; it is able 
to destroy its liberty, it is bound to preserve it; the act 
which conferred on it existence and liberty imposes on 
it the duty of conserving it, that is, of realizing the liberty 
it has received. 



THE BASIS OF RIGHT 65 

The liberty of the creature is at once alienable and in- 
alienable ; alienable because it depends on the will of the 
creature, and inalienable because it is absolutely willed l)y 
the Creator. It is alienable in fact, but inalienable by 
right. Natural right is the will of God, as it exj)resses itself 
in the essence of our reason, which is His workmanship. 
And as God alone is absolute, no pretended positive has 
any authority to contravene a natural right proceeding from 
Him. 

Deriving the right of the creature from the will of God, 
with the idea of a free creature, we acquire at the same time 
the law of liberty. That a law does exist inherent in 
created liberty, must be allowed, otherwise created liberty 
would dissolve into contradictions. The law of created 
liberty is to confirm, realize, and render inalienable in fact 
what is inalienable in right. 

The moral law is therefore the law of creation, it is the 
law of all development, the universal norm : " Eealize your 
essence ; become that really which you are virtually." 

We have seen in the first chapter that the law of progress 
manifests itself in the gradual emancipation of the creature ; 
nature gives to the creature a share in carrying out the 
operation of its own development. We see in man the 
same law take a wider expansion. The liberty of man is 
greater than the liberty of the dog, because the point of 
perfection to be attained by the former is greater than that 
within reach of the latter. 

But there is this difference, and in this difference morality 
consists. The brute cannot descend to the plane of the 
vegetable ; but man may, at will, surrender his liberty which 
constitutes him man, and brutalize. His right, which is 
latent, he surrenders, and instead of rising as a morning mist 
to heaven, lie runs down like Jordan into a Sea of Death. 

E 



66 CHRISTIANITY 



The child has its rights, and the power to emancipate 
itself from the chrysalis of animality into the dignity of 
manhood. He grows up a drunkard and a sensualist. He 
contradicts, blunts, sterilizes his rights and enslaves himself 
in grossness. 

IMoral science is the development of the law which orders 
the creature, essentially free, to appropriate its liberty by 
action, to manifest it and maintain it, and thus to realize 
its nature. 

If then it be admitted that right reposes on a dogmatic 
verity, four consequences follow. 

1. All rights are equal. Tor God being the author of our 
nature, and the nature of one man being identical with the 
nature of another man, and right being the faculty of de- 
veloping his nature without contradiction and constraint, 
the right of one man must be equal to the right of another 
man. 

2. All infriuQ-ement of rights is immoral. For the 
rights of man being of divine origin, and given for a 
perfect purpose, interference with these rights is inter- 
ference with the purpose of God, and is therefore a crime 
against God. 

If it be objected that this corollary makes legal penalties 
immoral, — such as imprisonment for theft and execution 
for murder, — I answer No, these are not immoral to society, 
but they are immoral to the criminal ; for it is the criminal 
who deprives himself of liberty or life by his violation of 
the rights of others. But if society were to hang a man 
for sheep-stealing, it would commit an immorality, for the 
invasion of the right of living in the criminal is greater in 
degree than the invasion of the right of property in the 
prosecutor. 

3. All primitive rights are morally inalienable. By primi- 



THE BASIS OF FIGHT 67 

tive riglits I mean those wliicli belong to a man in virtue of 
his being a free, intelligent being, and not those acquired in 
society. They have their title in the nature of man, they 
are the circle in the centre of which each individual finds 
himself at the moment of birth, whereas the others are an 
extension, and suppose an exterior fact, an act which pro- 
duces them. T have a right to the development of my 
reason, — that is a primary right. I have a right to the 
property inherited from my father, that is a secondary, 
social right. 

If these primitive rights come from God immediately, 
and I am responsible immediately to God for their exercise, 
and if without their exercise I am unable to accomplish my 
functions in the woild, — -the development of my nature, — 
it is evident that I cannot surrender them, or any of them, 
without treason to my Creator, the author of my right. 

4. No primary rights are opposed to one another. For, 
if God be the source from which all rights flow, He is the 
conciliator of all, just as He is the conciliator of all truths. 
Every man's rights being held on the same title as my own, 
if they seem to contradict mine, I must rectify my moral 
sight Ijy the Ideal, and in Him I shall find that all are 
equal and all agree. It is my duty to exact, even by force, 
resjDect for my own primary rights, and it is my duty, 
Avithout compulsion, to respect the primary rights of every 
one else. 

As these latter consequences may not appear self-evident 
to every one, I will say a few words on the primary or natural 
rights of man, which will make these consequences clearer. 

The first natural right man has in society is that of 
disposing freely of his person. It is the most sacred 
property in the world. Of what use is any other property, 
if between it and you is an impenetrable wall ? 



68 CHRISTIANITY 



Individual liberty is a right l)v itself, and is tlie condition 
of the exercise of other rights. "SYithoiit freedom they would 
be nothing, for they could at any moment be confiscated 
along with the person of the indiA'idual. 

The right of living, and of living protected from every 
attack, is by its nature without limit. It was only partially 
understood in a state of barbarism, it was ignored under an 
absolute government, it has risen into recognition in modern 
times. 

The only person who can alienate this right is the 
possessor of it, and the alienation is a violation of right, a 
crime. He may alienate it by intellectual or actual suicide, 
or by violating the rights of another, and therefore making 
it necessary for the commonwealth to suppress his liberty 
for a time, or totally deprive liim of it. 

Interference with personal liberty for opinions is immoral, 
for every man has a right to his own opinions and a right 
to express them ; and interference with the liberty of A is 
only lawful when A has violated the rights of B, and then 
one interference must exactly balance the other. "S^^ien 
an idea takes the knife like Lady Macbeth, it has on its 
hands a dye which all the perfumes of Araby cannot efface. 
It has defied morality, and, as its penalty, morality delivers 
it over to impotence. 

The second natural right is that of having a good repu- 
tation, jus existimationis. Like the jus vitce illcsce it can 
only be exercised when it is made to be respected. Never- 
theless, it is no less a primordial right, as no one can 
perfectly exercise his faculties in the social state without 
that public consideration which a life without reproach can 
alone give him. 

It is a right, like that of personal liberty, which is 
without limits by its very nature, and which can suffer no 



THE BASIS OF RIGHT 69 

assaults except tliose wliicli the individual may himself 
authorize by his own acts. 

A third right man has in society is that of believing as 
he thinks proper ; this right is called liberty of conscience. 
Every man has his own convictions. They are his own 
individual property. He cannot escape from them, no 
power on earth can obliterate them. Thought is free and 
faith is free. ISTo tyrant can bind thought, no inquisitor 
can root out faith. like thought, faith is progressive. An 
attempt to interfere with faith, by cramping it witliin 
inelastic laws, is a violation of right. Palings will not 
stand against the wind. If faith increase in volume, the 
old banks will not prevent a flood. Only by almost super- 
human efforts can a torrent of religious belief be brouaht 
to the stagnation of Lake Moeris. 

If faith is and must be free, its expression must be free 
also. Worship is the language of belief: none have a right 
to interfere with liberty of worship, any more than they 
have to constrain liberty of speech. The liberty to serve 
God as he thinks proper is so essential to man, that if it be 
denied him, he will be ready to overturn all the political 
institutions of his country to regain it ; for religious senti- 
ment is the fiercest of passions if excited by injustice. It 
is a gentle, steady flame, when nicely raised to its proper 
pitch : woe to the hand that by violence turns it higher. 
It will lose steadiness and brilliancy, and roar into fanati- 
cism. 

To grow, and develop its manly proportions the body 
must not be weighed down with chains, nor cramped in an 
iron cage gradually contracting; and faith, to reach its 
perfection must be given entire liberty to extend itself. 
What is living religion ? It is the human soul growing 
towards the Ideal, throwing out tendrils here and there, 



lo CHRISTIANITY 



and ever ascending from bud to bloom ; ever enriched by 
the fact of its perfectability, operating incessantly on the 
trammels an establishment may lace around it, straining 
them and bursting them, ever seeking its proper expansion, 
and ever therefore impatient of restraint. It is like the 
great tun of Heidelberg : into it the new wine is yearly 
poured upon the old Mine, and the old perfumes the new 
with its bouquet, whilst the new regenerates the old by its 
vigour. The employment of restraint and persecution to 
keep down the effervescing spirit of religion, by Inquisition, 
S tar-Chamber, or Privy Council, is a policy as shortsighted 
as it is immoral. 

The fourth right of man in society is that of giving free 
expression to his convictions. This right comprehends the 
liberty of instruction, and that of expressing one's thoughts 
through the press, by speech, or any other means of 
publication. 

The faculty of teaching freely is a riglit, for instruction 
is a duty. Man feels the need of giving utterance to his 
thoughts, and this need is imperious like a duty demanding 
accomplishment. He feels that to keep the truth to him- 
self is a crime equal to that of compressing the utterance 
of it in another. 

The fifth natural right is that of appropriation. The 
liberty to take possession of the objects of the exterior 
world necessary for his physical life, is demanded by the 
very constitution of man. All controversies on the rights 
of property have never touched the primitive rights of 
man to enjoy the fruits of his toil, and satisfy the needs of 
his nature. No man or corporation has a right to employ 
any man without giving him the equivalent of his labour. 
Slavery is therefore immoral, so also is the under-payment 
of labourers or servants. 



THE BASIS OF RIGHT 71 

Tlie fact of the general recognition of this right opens 
access to property to all. 

These five are the primitive rights of man living in 
society, rights which are inalienable and sacred, if based on 
God, for they are rights without wdiich social civilization, 
and the development of man as an individual, are im- 
possible. 

If the rights of man be not founded on a dogma, the 
dogma of man's creation by God for a determined end, — 
the perfect development of his faculties, they are without 
guarantee, for their existence imposes no duties on others, 
corresponding to them; and right becomes a caprice and 
duty becomes optional. 

"With fearless heart man makes appeal to Heaven, 
And thence brings down his everlasting rights, 
"VVhicli there abide, inalienably his. 
And indestructible as are the stars." ^ 

1 Schiller : AVilhelm Tell, act ii. sec. 2. 



72 CHRISTIANITY 



CHAPTEE V 

THE BASIS OF AUTHOKITY 

" Hmnaiia societas debet esse perfecta respiiblica." — Bellarmine. 

The physical condition of man renders society necessary — The Social In- 
stinct — Social organizations the product of the ideas of right and antho- 
rity — The family, the first society — Tlie idea of parental authority a 
prolongation of the idea of right — That authority ceases wlien the child 
has become a man — for then its rights are equal to its father's rights — 
Two kinds of authority, Moral authority and effective authority — 
Moral authority must rest on God— necessitates the hypothesis of free 
will — Effective authority must derive from man — its mode of exercise 
compulsion — not to be confused with sovereignty — Sovereignty, the 
right to violate rights with impunity — Sovereignty only possible, logi- 
cally, if God be denied — Attempt to subordinate sovereignty to moral 
authority impossible — The only possible mode of preserving moral au- 
thority and effective authority intact is to distinguish them, and derive 
the one from God, the other from men — Effective authority not neces- 
sarily immoral. 

MAN" lias received fewer physical advantages from 
nature than any other animal. For the protection 
of his organs he has an envelope as delicate as a rose-leaf, 
which can be rent by a thorn. The beasts are wrapped in 
wool or fur, the birds in non-conducting plumage. They 
have claws and fangs, and are well-shod, and move with 
agility, but man is tender-footed, slow in his motions, his 
nails and teeth are fragile. 

Our first parents lived in a condition of marked in- 



THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY 73 

feriority. They were naturally incapacitated from enduring 
the intemperance of the seasons, seeking and finding their 
food, and protecting themselves from the dangers that en- 
compassed them. Shrinking from the bramble's straggling 
braids, flying before the wolf, limping over the stones, was 
man the lord of creation ? The eagle reigned among the 
birds, and the lion was monarch among the beasts, and in 
the order of strength man was perhaps the fiftieth, perhaps 
the hundredth. 

But in him was the capability of progress, and this very 
inferiority which martyred him was the kingmaker that 
finally crowned him. 

ISTo sooner did he perceive the danger of his position than 
he sought means to remedy it ; the well-being that resulted 
from his efforts opened a field to his aspirations and in- 
telligence. But the creative power distinguishing his race 
from all others, and giving it its immense superiority, has 
only devolved on him upon a condition. 

Take a man, place him outside of all society, leave him 
to his own inspirations ; he will do a little more than will 
an animal born at the same time, but he will not advance 
far in the study of the world and the appropriation of mate- 
rial for his use. He will begin lil^e the first man, by taking 
the first step in civilization. If men were to succeed one 
another in isolation, each would be learning the alphabet of 
experimental truths, and none would be able to put the 
letters together into practical rules. The thousandth genera- 
tion would remain within the limits of the first, as the 
generations of animals always reproduce the features of the 
first. Our race, adorned v/ith a precious faculty, would be 
condemned to the labour of Sisyphus, who rolled a stone to 
the summit of a mountain, only to have to recommence 
his interminable labour, for it rushed into the plain through 



74 CHRISTIANITY 



his hands, as he thought he had succeeded in poising it on 
the peak. Sisyphus underwent this sentence because he 
had led a dishonest life, man would have had to undergo a 
similar doom for not having led a social life. 

Society is the theatre, obligatory for the emancipation 
and development of the creative power in man. To reject 
social life is to deprive ourselves of the power of profiting 
by the experience of the past and the present. 

That we may be able to profit by the experience of others, 
we are endowed with an instinct adapted to the purpose of 
drawing us into the company of our fellows; — this is the 
social instinct. 

This instinct is not peculiar to man, it is met with in the 
animals, the ant, the bee, and the beaver ; but it is in the 
liuman race alone that it takes a character of orgfanization. 
^mong most animals, after the first year, the parents and 
their offspring separate. The members of the human 
family separate also, Ijut only that they may mingle with 
other men and form new families, which may agglomerate, 
and constitute in final synthesis the state. 

Social organizations are the product of two ideas, tlie 
idea of right and the idea of authority ; the former, man 
may possess and exercise in isolation, the latter can only 
assume function in society. In democracies and republics 
the idea of right prevails ; in theocracies and despotisms 
that of authority dominates. 

In considering the right of man, we have had to treat 
him as an unit, but the state of separation is not that of 
the primitive existence of men. On the contrary, the first 
man alone could have risen into being outside of all social 
relations ; every other man has been born in the bosom of 
a family, and therefore finds himself in the midst of a 
society already shaped; and, being unable to grow up with- 



THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY 



out assistance, the association lias maintained itself, and the 
ideas of those educated in it have been moulded by the 
organization. 

Eousseau and those following him, who placed the origin 
of human society in a convention, started from premisses 
not conformable to reality. A convention, whether general, 
like that which is understood under the denomination of a 
social contract, or particular, such as that resulting from 
individual necessities, is an act by which begins an union 
of individuals separated heretofore as to the object upon 
which they contract. It follows that every society which 
commences by a convention, presupposes the anterior 
separation of its members. But this supposition is inad- 
missible, as from the moment of birth, every man is 
attached by numerous links to his fellows. 

The family being the first society possible for man, it is 
important for us to examine the relations existing in it, for 
therein will be discovered the original idea of authority un- 
altered, untricked out and gilded as it reigns on every 
throne. 

A sentiment of a peculiar nature, and the need of mutual 
assistance unite man and woman. In soul, as in body, man 
differs from the woman ; the mental constitution, the physi- 
cal organs of the one, appeal to and suppose the other. 
" One of the laws which concur to form the first societies," 
elegantly says Montesquieu, " has its principle in the charm 
the sexes inspire by their differences, and in that mutual 
prayer which they are ever addressing to one another." ^ 

The more intense this sentiment is, the more exclusive 

it becomes. This constitutes the distinctive character of 

the conjugal union, which is lost in polygamy. From 

this union issues a being deprived of all resources, of all 

^ Moutesc[uieu : Esprit des Lois. 



76 CHRISTIANITY 



means of existence, and which would infallibly perish, if a 
natural instinct did not l)id tlie autliors of its days render 
to it the requisite assistance. Without the child, the do- 
mestic circle is destitute of a centre, it is widowed of its 
future. With the arrival of a child the love of the husband 
for her who has borne it augments, and transforming itself, 
becomes less passionate but more solid. The man feels 
himself in conscience bound to jprotect two frailties, and the 
obligation is his delight. 

The cares lavished by the mother on her infant awaken 
its filial piety, the superior physical and intellectual power 
of the father impress on it reverence. It grows up feeling 
its dependence, and is attached to those on whom it de- 
pends by gratitude, respect, and love. 

Tlie need for reciprocal assistance makes the utility of 
the union more apparent as the child emerges from infancy, 
and it assists the father in the field, or the mother at the 
hearth. 

All these motives woven together constitute that " family 
tie" which is so strong as to bind the family into a solid 
mass, which rejoices or suffers as one ; and which has led 
to the mistake of confounding the child with the parent in 
the exaction of retribution, as, for instance, when a family 
is banished to Siberia because the father has committed a 
political crime. 

In following the natural formation of the primitive 
family, we caimot escape the conviction that the relations 
which manifest themselves are not the product of man's 
free choice, but are a consequence of the nature of things. 

In the family, from the first, the idea of authority has 
appeared. Protection and order are requisites of the family; 
and these cannot exist without recognition of an authority. 

Of authority there are two sorts, the authority of riglit, 



THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY 77 

and the aiitliority of force. The latter is tyranny, the other 
is defined by Suarez to be " the person, whether natural or 
moral, in whom reside all the faculties necessary for assur- 
ing to the community tranquillity and prosperity."^ In the 
family this is the prerogative of the father. Consequently 
it is he who protects from assaults without, and maintains 
discipline within, and thus ensures order and peace. 

On what title does this authority of the father repose ? 
By what right is it exercised ? 

AVhen the father of a family provides by the sweat of his 
brow objects necessary for existence, those objects are his 
own by right of appropriation. If he gives them to his 
children, either his right over those objects is broken, and 
they become the property of the children who assimilate 
them, or the right persists. For instance : I sold the copy- 
right of a small book for £25. The MS. was my own, 
being the product of my toil. AVith that svim, wdiich I take 
as the equivalent of my work, I clothe my baby and pay 
the doctor and the nurse for having brought her into the 
world. Has my right ceased, when the £25 was appro- 
priated by the baby ? Is it not transformed into authority 
equal in amount ? 

If the objects continue to belong to the father of the 
family, though transform^ed by the operations of nature 
into an integral part of the body of the child, he exercises 
authority over the child by virtue of his right over the 
substances of which the child is composed; and in this case 
there are no limits to its extension. 

If at any time the idea of right were to take an unlimited 
development in the social relations, and Avere to exclude 
the idea of liberty, the right of the father over those depen- 
dent on him would arrive at the degree of power attained 

1 De Legibus. 



78 CHRISTIANITY 



by the Eomans and almost every nation at a primitive 
epoch of tlieir social existence ; and he would be entitled 
to expose his child to death or to sell it into slavery. 

The relation of Inisband to wife wonld also be different. 
For the female child would be valued at what it cost the 
father ; and the suitor, by indemnifying the parent, would 
purchase of him his right ; and in fact, the price paid for a 
wife among the Tartars and Indians has no other signifi- 
cation than this, of being the equivalent of the objects she 
has consumed ; and the husband is supposed to purchase 
the rights those objects represented to the father, and 
to transfer them to himself 

It was precisely under the influence of these ideas that 
the first social relations were formed, and once established, 
they have been continued in the same conditions. The 
interest of men placed at the head of society, the necessity 
for order and stability, have concurred to perpetuate them, 
and authority is taken to be something very different from 
what it was at the outset. 

Authority is indeed nothing other than a transformation 
of the idea of right of appropriation extended to jDersons, 
a prolongation over individuals of the idea of property. 

If right be, as has been assumed, a dogmatic verity, 
authority is a verity also. We shall now inquire within 
what limits it is justifiable. 

The father exercises his right by ^'i^tue of his lieing a 
completely-developed man ; he exercises it over the child 
because it is as yet in an undeveloped state, and its rights, 
or, at least, some of them, are as yet in abeyance. The 
right to live exists in the child from the moment of con- 
ception ; but it would be absurd to talk of violating the 
right of liberty of worship and of expressing its opinion, in 
a sucking child. It has no such rights as yet, for it has 



THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY 79 



no idea of God, nor has it as yet formed an opinion. These 
rights accrue to it with the emancipation of reason. As 
the powers of the child ripen, and its individuahty intensi- 
fies, its full complement of rights appears, and then the 
authority of the father is at an end, for the right of one 
man is equal to that of another. 

Some writers, in their attempt to justify royal authority, 
have supposed that the paternal authority is irrevocable, 
and that consequently there can he no emancipation. The 
power of the father is held to he the unique source of 
the civil power, and men to he perpetually minors, and 
incapable, in right, of choosing the form of government 
under which they will serve and the jjerson who shall be 
their chief. According to this hypothesis, the father draws 
his power from God, conserves it intact, entire, unalterable, 
so that he becomes the head of the families that spring 
from his loins, and chief thereby of a political community. 
Succession and tradition do the rest, and the crown is 
merely the hereditary badge of paternity. To interrupt or 
to modify this providential order is therefore sacrilege, for 
this is government by Divine Eight. 

Such a theory goes to the ground at once, when the true 
origin of right is considered, and authority is seen to be 
but its temporary extension. If paternal authority can 
only bind the child till it has perfected into the man, with 
adolescence the rights of the child are level with those of 
his father, and the difference, to which has been given a 
real value, called authority, has disappeared. If all rights 
flow from God and are dogmatic verities, all rights are equal, 
and therefore for one man to exercise authority over another 
man without his consent is to commit an immorality. 

A sign is sometimes demanded, by which the complete 
emancipation of the child from paternal authority may be 



8o CHRISTIANITY 



discovered. We are incapable of giving one ; for, by the 
nature of the case, that emancipation is progressive, and a 
sign is as out of the question as is certainty in a calculation 
of probabilities. 

The father must decide according to numerous indices, 
his experience of anterior emancipations, the remembrance 
of his own, the study of his son's character, the expansion 
of his reason ; considerations so complex, that it is impos- 
sible to descril^e them. The emancipation announces itself 
by tentatives, and then accomplishes itself Strong in the 
sense of liis own rights, the son freely contracts an alliance, 
and this alliance is the seal of his independence. A new 
domestic society appears, a new government enthrones 
itself by the embers of the first hearth, and sheds over it 
that protection which old age exacts, in the sacred name of 
love and duty. The new family is, as S. Thomas says, a 
complete unity, and must therefore be equal to another 
unity of like nature. 

Of authority there are two kinds, and only two : ]\Ioral 
and effective. 

Effective authority has but one mode of operation, of 
self-manifestation, viz.. Compulsion. 

Moral authority has but one mode of operation, of self- 
manifestation, viz., Persuasion. 

Moral authority can only devolve from God, the Absolute. 
Authority of all sorts being a prolongation of the idea of 
right, moral authority is the exercise of the right of God 
over man. 

Destroy the idea of God, and you destroy the idea of 
moral authority. 

Moral authority is an appeal to the conscience alone to 
recognize responsibility. 

Eesponsibility mvist be due to man or to God. If to man. 



THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY 8i 

it must be a recognition of his right, or it is not moral respon- 
sibility. But right, as has been shewn, is only authorita- 
tive when it is dogmatic ; and by dogmatic is meant, that 
it is based on God. Thus responsibility resolves itself into 
the recognition of God as the basis of right, or it does not 
exist at all. 

To make this clearer we will take two cases. 

First. A has sown a field which he reclaimed from the 
waste, cleared of weeds, dug and dressed. When his wheat 
has sprung up, B turns his horses into the field to eat the 
young corn. He has a perfect right to do so, if right be 
based on superior strength and he be the strongest. If, 
however, right be dogmatic, he is wrong. A has a moral 
right to reap the produce of his toil, and B is morally bound 
not to interfere with this right. By what authority is he 
bound ? By the authority of God, who has made right 
dogmatic. But A denies the authority of God ; denies the 
existence of God ; then he must not complain if B takes 
advantage of this negation of moral authority, to appropriate 
the produce of his toil, resting his right on superior force. 
Wliy does the crop belong to A ? A says, Because I have 
laboured on it, and liave made it mine by appropriation 
from the waste. Why does B make away with it ? B says, 
Because I have made it mine by appropriation from A ; A 
had no right to the field except the right of seizure, and I 
have the same right to it ; therefore I will take it, for I am 
stronger than he. 

Second. A has excellent natural abilities ; he has also a 
fortune left him, sufficient to maintain him in competence. 
As there is no God, there is no moral obligation laid upon 
him to develop his abilities. It is completely at his option 
whether he will lead an intellectual life, or whether he 
will lead a life of debauchery. He is perfectly free to 

F 



82 CHRISTIANITY 



make choice ; he chooses the latter ; he may have made a 
mistake in thinking that a life of sensuality will afford him 
greater happiness than a life of intellectuality ; but he has 
not done wrong, he has violated no duty, for there is no 
authority to impose a duty on him. No appeal to con- 
science is of the slightest avail, for his own will is supreme. 
You may convince him that he is mistaken, but you cannot 
convince him that he is wrong. 

Moral authority, therefore, derives from God alone. 

If a government claim moral authority, it is solely in 
virtue of a Divine commission. If there be no God, govern- 
ment can have no moral authority. I do not say that a 
government has moral authority, but that its claim to be 
regarded as conscientiously binding on men wholly depends 
on its recognition of God. 

Moral authority is exercised inforo conscicntioi alone. 

It derives from God. It is the action of God upon the 
conscience of man. J\Ian acknowledges his obligation to 
God to recognize the rights of others, and his duty to 
develop his own superior faculties. If God be an absolute 
ruler, fatally determining the actions of man, so that he 
cannot swerve from the course he is predestined to run, 
then there is no such a thing as moral authority. Moral 
authority presupposes a power in the person on whom it is 
imposed of refusing obedience if he will. If it is impossible 
for man to resist authority, that authority is no more moral, 
it is effective ; its mode of operation is not persuasion, but 
compulsion. 

The existence of moral authority therefore depends on 
the exercise by man of free will, and the existence of God 
as the absolute source of right. 

If the link between man and the Absolute were not one 
of acceptance on the part of man, i.e., that he might or 



THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY 83 

might not operate, the authority of God would he effective 
only, and the idea of moral authority would he inconceiv- 
able ; for man can only conceive what really exists. 

If moral authority have its source in God, it follows that 
any delegation of authority by God must also be moral, not 
effective. 

When man proposes to attach his power to the Absolute, 
when there is a delegation, mediate or immediate, there will 
be a delegation of power corresponding with the character 
of the power wliicli God exercises over free man — that is a 
moral power. 

Just as God has refused to exercise over man an authority 
interfering with his liberty, and by virtue of this alone he 
is free ; so, in like manner, He has refused to transmit a 
compulsory authority, since the transmission thereof would 
be the exercise of it. 

Let us next consider effective authority. By effective 
authority is to be understood the authority exercised by 
man over man, maintained and expressed by force. 

Effective authority can only be derived from man. As 
all men have not equal strength and power to maintain 
their rights, they delegate their force to a government 
or king, for the purpose of maintaining intact their in- 
alienable rigiits. 

A, B, C and D have precisely equal primitive rights, 
but A, B, C and D have not precisely equal power to sup- 
port their rights in the face of aggression. A, B and 
therefore, combine to confer on D their united force to en- 
able him to protect the rights of A from being encroached 
on by B or C; the rights of B from invasion by A and C; 
the rights of C from being alienated by A and B. 

Effective authority being solely delegated force, can only 
express itself by compulsion. It begins where moral au- 



84 CHRISTIANITY 



tliority ends. If A, B, C and D were so impressed with 
tlieir responsibilities tliat there was no risk of infringement 
of one another's liberties, there would be no need for effec- 
tive authority. 

Effective authority, or government, is therefore an evil, 
but it is a necessary evil, and it is productive of good. 

Effective authority and Sovereignty must not be confused. 
Effective authority is a delegation of power for the sake of 
preserving order in society and protecting from encroach- 
ment the rights of every man. 

But tliis is not what is meant by Sovereignty. 

Sovereignty is superiority to law or the right to do wrong 
with impunity. 

It must repose on a religious idea or on force ; that is, it 
must be moral, or it must be effective. It cannot be moral, 
for if moral it must repose on divine authority, and God's 
action on man being moral, not compulsory, it cannot de- 
rive from God. 

It cannot be effective in its proper sense, for effective 
authority is delegated only for the sake of preserving right ; 
therefore Sovereignty, or the right to do wrong with im- 
punity, can only be an usurpation. 

An attempt has been made to fuse moral and effective 
authorities, but such an attempt is immoral, and the ac- 
complishment of the fusion is impossible. 

If force be employed by the representatives of moral au- 
thority, that authority resolves itself into effective authority, 
and its power over consciences disappears. Obedience is 
of constraint, not of duty. 

Sovereignty cannot derive from a contract. For none 
can give what they have not got. No individual or collec- 
tion of individuals has the sovereignty, i.e., the right to do 
wrong with impunity, in itself, and therefore cannot com- 



THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY 85 

municate it. A political contract, real or obligatory, would 
only bind those who had subscribed to it ; for the solidarity 
of generations cannot be a rational principle, though it may 
be a dogma. 

Sovereignty must derive its prerogatives from God, and 
become thereby a power acting with divine authority which 
it personifies, or from which it depends, or it must abdicate 
every pretence to command on any other title than that of 
brute force. But it cannot derive from God, as has been 
shewn ; therefore human sovereignty is nothing but pure 
despotism and usurpation. 

The idea of sovereignty must not be confounded with 
the power of doing justice, i.e., with effective authority. 
Sovereignty is a power, if it be defined to be the faculty of 
enforcing submission to laws. But then the faculty of en- 
forcing submission to bad laws must be included. If the 
idea of right renders such a power morally impossible, 
sovereignty disappears. To know if a power be sovereign, 
one must know whether it is able to violate right with im- 
punity. That is not sovereignty which can only act aright. 

The principle of certainty to each man being his own 
judgment, as has been already pointed out, it belongs to 
each man to declare what is duty, as his own law, and what 
is right, as the law of society ; precisely as each man has to 
declare for himself that the exterior world exists, and that 
the whole Js greater than its part. 

The consequence of this principle is of the highest im- 
portance. To declare right is to exercise legislative power ; 
if then the verity of right be known by the individual judg- 
ment, it follows that, in society, the legislative power be- 
longs to each man individually, and not to any one man 
privately. 

The ideas of sovereignty and right exclude one another. 



86 CHRISTIANITY 



Sovereignty may make concessions, but it cannot ac- 
knowledge rights, or it ceases to be sovereignty. Eight 
being a purely personal faculty, is nothing, if there be a 
power which can prevent its exercise. 

But if by sovereignty be understood merely the faculty 
of declaring right, it means nothing but effective au- 
thority. Sovereignty subordinated to right is no more 
sovereignty. 

The idea of right has for corollary the idea of individual 
independence. The criterium of duty being the conscience, 
that must also be the criterium of right, for the two ideas 
are aspects of the same truth. 

If, then, there be any other sovereignty than that of right 
it can only be the authority of the individual over himself, 
for it is only over himself that man can exercise authority, 
and for that he is responsible to God. 

From this it follows that the whole Mediaeval gover- 
mental system was irrational. 

When force is called in to assist moral authority, a theo- 
cracy is the result. 

Plato laid down that sovereignty, to be rational and legi- 
timate, must repose on the superiority of tlie sovereign to 
those ruled ; and that this superiority must be due either 
to a communication of Divine power, or to a superior force 
a doctrine which Caligula pushed to an absurdity when he 
insisted on being a god, " Because," said he, " as a shepherd 
is different in kind from the sheep, so must a king differ 
from his subjects, or his government is inconsequent." 
According to the Mediaeval system the state was a pure 
theocracy. The body of Canon law contains a complete 
constitution, resting on the principle of autliority derived 
from God. Separating the priest from the magistrate, it 
subordinated the latter to the former. In order that the 



THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY 87 

Crown miglit derive its sovereignty logically from Gocl, it 
received its power through tlie Church by consecration. 

According to the Mediaeval doctrine, the authority of the 
State to curtail the liberties of the people, and to interfere 
with their prescriptive rights, was drawn from a Divine 
commission conferred sacramentally through the Church, 
the incorporation of Divine power. The monarch was thus 
invested with a fictitious infallibility, or the privilege of 
irresponsibility to those governed. 

This system is completely false, it rests on a confusion of 
moral with effective authority. God cannot communicate 
sovereignty without contradicting His moral government. 
If man is a moral being, he is responsible to God ; if re- 
sponsible to God, he must have liberty ^ — that is the faculty 
of exercising his right. If God has conferred sovereignty, 
then He has commissioned some men to curtail the liberty 
of men in general, to impede them in the exercise of their 
duty ; — He has impressed a duty on man and interfered with 
its accomplishment, which is impossible. 

From this it follows that effective authority is legitimate 
and quasi-moral when it guarantees the rights of man, and 
that it is illegitimate and immoral wdien it becomes sove- 
reign, that is when it assumes the power to violate those 
rights. 

This is a conclusion at which modern political economists 
have, I believe, pretty generally arrived. But this con- 
clusion entirely depends on the recognition of God as the 
basis of right, and of authority, which is its prolongation. 

Deny God, and authority rests on force alone ; we relapse 
into despotism. Effective authority disappears in violence, 
which is not the exercise, but the abuse, of effective au- 
thority. Plight is without guarantee, for right is not ac- 
knowledged. 



88 CHRISTIANITY 



When the National Assembly drew up its famous De- 
claration of the Eights of Man, in 1789, " Write the name 
of God at the head of the declaration," said the Abb^ 
Gregoire, " or you leave them without foundation, and you 
make right the equivalent of force, you declare not the 
rights of man, but the right of the strongest, you inaugurate 
the reign of violence." The Assembly refused. Gregoire 
was correct in his judgment, and the Eeign of Terror proved 
that rights unbased in God produce an authority which is 
brute force. 

Acknowledge God, and what is the result ? 

His action on man is purely moral ; therefore a theocracy, 
or a despotism, carried on under His sanction, is impossible 
morally. 

Effective authority is based on necessity for the pro- 
tection of man's rights, which are themselves dogmatic. 

Therefore effective authority is limited in its action to 
the declaration of the relations between man and man, and 
to their preservation. 

In its own sphere effective authority is legitimate and 
justifiable. It must be recognized by the conscience as 
havino; Divine sanction, because social life has divine 
sanction ; and that sanction extends to it in the same de- 
gree as force has been delegated to it, i.e. to the same degree 
as it is useful. 

" The liberty in which we have been created," says 
Cardinal Bellarmine, "is not in opposition with political 
submission, but it is in opposition with despotic subjugation, 
that is, with true and proper servitude. Tlie citizen therefore 
is governed for his own advantage, not for the advantage of 
him who governs him." ^ 

1 Bellarmine : De Laicis, lib. ii. c. 7. 



THE PRELIMINARY HYPOTHESES 89 



CHAPTEE VI 

THE PEELIMINAEY HYPOTHESES OF CHRISTIANITY 

" Ever fresh, the broad creation, 
A Divine improvisation. 
From the heart of Gad proceeds, 
A single %vill, a million deeds." — Emerson. 

The subject of tlie preceding cliaiiters— The First Hypothesis : There is a 
First Cause self-existent, absolutely free, the Creator of the world — 
The motive of creation not necessity nor duty — To be sought in the 
creation, not in the Creator — The creature is the object of creation — 
The motive of creation is Love — pure love unmixed with selfishness — 
Second hypothesis : God has made man in His image, i.e. with a free 
^in — Man's duty is to distinguish himself, and thus constitute his per- 
sonality — He cannot do so by denying God — He can only do so by 
simultaneously distinguishing God and preserving the link between 
himself and God — This link is love — Recapitulation of the argument. 

I HAVE shewn in the first five chapters tliat tliere is 
an universal antinomy in the world ; that man him- 
self, a microcosm, contains all the elements of this anta- 
gonism ; that conciliation is impossible without the idea of 
God to harmonize these conflicting elements. I have shewn 
that without the idea of God as a guarantee for the fidelity 
of our impressions and the truth of our ideas, there is no 
certainty on any point, and from beginning to end, all men's 
reasonings, all men's actions, are irrational. I have shewn 
that without the idea of God to establish the rights of men 
dogmatically, those rights have no raison d'etre ; and I have 



90 CHRISTIANITY 



shewn that the only authority conceivable by man, if the 
idea of God be banished, is the authority of force, and that 
the idea of moral authority is without basis unless God be 
assumed to found it. 

I pass now to the first Christian axiom: — There is a 
First Cause, self-existent, absolutely free, the Creator of 
the world. The world exists and we exist. Why ? Be- 
cause God has willed it. Why has God willed it ? On 
the answer to this question everything depends. It must 
therefore be considered with care and caution. 

Creation is an act of free will, in no way changing the 
nature of the Absolute Being ; for the word creation is used 
to imply that the idea of production which it involves 
makes no change in the condition of the Author. Creation 
beinu' an act of free will, must be the act of a will full of 
intelligence. Every intelligent and free will supposes a 
purpose ; a purposeless will is blind and fatal. 

.Liberty acting without motive is no more liberty, it is 
chance, and chance is another name for ignorance. 

If, then, we reject the notion of an ignorant God, which 
is inconsistent with our hypothesis that He is absolutely 
free, we are obliged to ask what is the motive of creation. 
It is evident that the motive of creation must be such as 
will suit our definition of God. 

A preliminary examination of the problem will shew us 
that the purpose must be sought, not in the idea of the 
Absolute, but in creation itself. 

If we conceive the idea of human motives, it is because 
we are not absolutely free like the First Principle. We 
have needs, and the satisfaction of these needs is tlie motive 
of our action. But the existence of these needs is a proof 
of our imperfection. We want something that we have 
not got, the obtaining of which is necessary to us. But to 



THE PRELIMINARY HYPOTHESES 91 

the Absolute nothing can be necessary to complete Him ; 
therefore He did not create because the universe was requi- 
site to satisfy any want He felt. 

We are subject to moral laws, and are influenced by 
moral motives. We can obey or disobey the moral rule, 
but we are obliged to recognize it, and we are unable to 
change its character. To obey is a duty, and we realize 
our nature by obedience to the law of right. This law 
limits us ; it is above us. But the Absolute is above law. 
He is bound l:)y no duty. If the free will of the Absolute 
assumes the character of goodness, it is by His free act. 
Tlie distinction between good and evil could not pre-exist 
before Absolute liberty. As intelligence is before ideas, so 
is will superior to laws. If the moral order constrained 
God, the moral order would be God ; but then God would 
be no more free, which is against our hypothesis. 

To make this statement clearer, let us suppose God to 
be the moral law, and see to what consequences we are 
reduced. Moral order being an intimate necessity, it loses 
all signification for head and heart. Without a will to 
institute it, it is an unrealizable abstraction. It is no more 
moral, for the idea of morality implies the freedom of choice 
between good and evil, and fatalism reigns over God and men. 

Therefore, God did not create the universe from neces- 
sity or from duty ; and tliese are the only motives of action 
inherent in the agent which we can conceive. Either of 
these suppositions is inconsistent with the idea of an abso- 
lutely free God, for a cause acting upon a motive inherent 
in its nature is not free. 

God, then, did not find in Himself any reason for creat- 
ing. If the reason for creation were to be found in the 
nature of the Absolute, there would be no creation. 

The existence of the world is therefore irrational, for 



92 CHRISTIANITY 



what can be more irrational than the idea of something 
added to perfection ? Nevertheless the world exists. Ee- 
ality is not rational, it is superior to reason. 

Is it, then, impossible for us to assign a cause for the 
production of the world ? Certainly not. All we have 
proved is, that the motive of creation must be sought not 
in the Creator, but in creation, if we are to understand it. 

The Absolute not finding in Himself any reason for 
acting, that is, being neither constrained by duty, nor neces- 
sitated by His nature. He creates the Avorld by an act of 
supreme will, for a rational purpose, but that purpose must 
be sought outside of Him. 

But, before any action on the part of the Absolute, 
nothing could exist except Himself, ^¥e must find His 
motive of action in that which is not as yet. This is what 
the idea of creation involves. A relative will towards that 
which is not could only be a creative will ; for what could 
be willed with regard to that Avliich is not, but that it 
should be ? To leave nothing in its nonentity, no will is 
necessary. To say that the will by which Absolute Liberty 
manifests itself as such has its purpose outside of the Ab- 
solute Being, is to designate it as a creative will ; it wills 
another being, and by that will causes it to be. 

This is not all. Not only does God will the creature He 
makes, but He wills it for its own sake. The creature is 
willed for itself ; such is the essential idea of creation. 

This results inevitably from what has gone before. If 
God created for Himself, He would feel a need ; therefore 
He would not be absolutely free. 

Consequently, He creates without regard to Himself, and 
with regard to the creature alone. 

Now this exercise of will is the supreme manifestation 
of Love. This solves the enigma of creation. 



THE PRELIMINARY HYPOTHESES 93 



Of love there are two sorts. The first is that whose 
hidiest manifestation is seen in the affection of the sexes. 
This is always egoistic. It arises from either sex being 
imperfect without the other ; and it is the straining of one 
sex towards that other which will complete it, because 
alone it is unable to realize perfectly its nature. 

Such love as this is not to be spoken of wdth respect to 
the motive of creation, for it has its foundation in an im- 
perfection of nature. But there is another sort of love of 
which we have a sketch in paternal affection. A love 
rising out of a nature complete in itself, and pouring its 
benefits on the head of the child, not for any advantage 
the child can afford, but out of pure unselfish beneficence. 
This is the love wdiich, in its highest perfection, exhibits 
itself in the act of creation. Such a disposition is only 
conceivable in a being serene and satisfied, because its own 
aim attained, its own nature is accomplished, and its free- 
dom is therefore absolute. This creative love is therefore 
the plenitude of liberty making an act of liberty. It is 
the determined act of will by which liberty manifests itself 
as liberty ; it, and it alone, resolves the difficulty of know- 
ing how that infinite power can realize itself without alter- 
ing its character ; for the power of liberty subsists entire 
in love. 

Love, then, is the principle of creation, or, in other words, 
its motive ; which is equivalent to the statement that crea- 
tion has no a 'priori motive, but that it is purely gratuitous. 

To create is to love, to will the creature for itself. The 
creature is therefore willed as its own end. God wills that 
the creature should be. He wills it in the interest of the 
creature. He wills its good, and its good consists in the 
realization of its being. 

In the sphere of relations and of finite existences, to do 



94 CHRISTIANITY 



good to any one is to facilitate tlie free development of his 
being ; in the absolute sense, it is to give being. Creative 
love therefore implies the realization of the creature. 

But realization is impossible without liberty. The free 
creature can alone say of itself " I am." In a "word, the 
free creature is the only one with veritable being. 

Love, in itself, is liberty making an act of liberty ; con- 
sidered in its effect, it is liberty making free creatures. 

To render this clearer, let us restate it, somewhat modi- 
fying the expression. 

The motive of creation is the love of God for His creature. 
God wills, then, the good of His creature ; but the love of 
God is a perfect love. 

To will the good of the creature is to will it to resemble 
God. Bvit God is absolutely free. If God wills His creature 
to be like Him, He wills it to be free. Its good consists 
in the reality of being, and the reality of being is only con- 
sistent with liberty. 

The creature is therefore made free. But liberty is 
potential. To create a free being is to place before it the 
problem of its destiny. 

The free being is only that which makes itself free. 
This is true of the finite being as it is of the Absolute. 
Freedom consists in the exercise of the will in overthrow- 
ing every opposition which restrains the development of 
the nature of the creatiire. The freedom of the Absolute 
consists in the exercise of will in manifesting or not mani- 
festing itself 

God wills man to be free, but the emancipation of him- 
self is in man's own hands. 

We arrive now at the second Christian hypothesis, which 
indeed is not a hypothesis, but a rigorous deduction from 
its first axiom : — 



THE PRELIMINARY HYPOTHESES 95 

God has made man in His own image, i.e. He has given 
him a free will. 

Man and God being placed face to face, one as contingent, 
the other as absolute, the contingent lives as contingent 
and the absolute as absolute. To live as absolute, is to be 
at once the power and principle of life ; to live as contingent 
is to live as effect, without ever being able to live as 
principle. 

Man's freedom is willed and given potentially, and on 
purpose that he may exercise it, so as to reach that perfection 
of development to which he, as contingent, can attain. He 
can exercise that liberty, and so progress to that term, or he 
can refuse it and remain stationary, or even retrogress, by 
enslaving himself. 

He can do either because he is free to will. 

He is called to realize his liberty by becoming the prin- 
ciple of his own actions, his own centre, his own end, and 
thus to distinguish himself from his Creator. 

But in constituting himself free in this manner, in pro- 
claiming his independence, does he not put his own existence 
in contradiction with tlie divine will, and thus deny God ? 
That is quite possible. 

Man must emphasize himself, and consequently must 
distinguish himself from God. He must recognize these 
two teims, himself and God, as terms distinct, not only in 
thought, but by an act of will, for man rnvist wdll himself, 
and by willing himself constitute liis personality. 

However, he must do this without separating himself 
from God, without excluding God. He must will himself, 
but he must at the same time will God. 

i'or man to will God, to personify God, and not to dis- 
tinguish himself, is to lose himself in mysticism. 

For man to will himself, to make himself the centre, and 



96 CHRISTIANITY 



not to distinguish God, is to become, what I have called else- 
where, a personal autocrat; in other words, a practical atheist. 
To distinguish one's self sharply from God, without breaking 
the link which unites us ; to constitute one's self one's own 
centre, without forgetting that God is the centre of all 
personalities, such is the problem. God is the sun around 
Whom all creatures revolve, but each revolves around his 
own axis. Break the solar attraction, and he shoots into 
infinite and outer darkness. 

To distinguish one's self from God, and to separate one's 
self from Him, are two very different things. 

The only manner of distinguishing without separating 
is to will that God sho\dd be, and to will one's self to be, — 
but not apart from God, but for Him — that is, to love God. 
Thus, the law we seek, the manner in which the creature 
can preserve its liberty whilst manifesting it, is the love of 
God. God loves us, and He is our model. The supreme 
law is a reflexion of the supreme fact. Love is the rule of 
rules, the key to all mysteries. To obey God is to realize 
our liberty, and to obey God is to love Him. 

In love, the two terms, the siibject and the object of love, 
are perfectly distinct, though they mutually interpenetrate. 
By loving God, the creature constitutes itself in its com- 
lolete personality, as the idea of liberty requires, without 
for a moment forgetting the existence of God on one side, 
and the existence of itself on the other. 

Before advancing to the third hypothesis of Christianity, 
let us briefly recapitulate our argument. 

The motive of creation cannot be found in the nature of 
the Absolute, for an inherent motive would destroy the 
idea of the liberty of the Absolute. 

The motive must therefore be sought in the possible 
creature. We find in this idea, which is the idea of love, 



THE PRELIMINARY HYPOTHESES 97 

the only reason wliicli could induce a perfect being to 
create. 

The power, wisdom, and goodness of God exhibit them- 
selves in Creation, but He does not create with the in- 
tention of manifesting His power, wisdom, and goodness ; 
His motive is not to acquire a superfluous glory, but to 
make another being happy. But happiness is the manifes- 
tation of well-being, and God wills the well-being of His 
creature, and that creature knows when it is accomplishing 
the will of God when it feels happy. 

The perfection of well-being is to love God ; the condition 
of well-being is liberty. 

Consequently the creature is primitively free. It is 
therefore primitively indetermined ; it is called to compose 
its own destiny, to produce its own nature or to fix its 
relation to God, which is the same thing; for its nature and 
its destiny depend wholly on the relation in which it stands 
towards God. 

It is indeternuned, but the indetermination is not abso- 
lute, since its creation is not purposeless. 

Being free, it may become what it will, but it ought to 
become what God wills it ; that is, the liberty which it has 
potentially it should make effective. It can only make this 
effective by willing itself, that is its liberty, and it can 
only fulfil its liberty and establish its personality by main- 
taining its relation to God. 

The act of will constitutes the personality of the creature. 
Personality is, in fact, only a free being emphasizing and 
recognizing itself as such. Every man makes his own per- 
sonality, he is to that extent his own creator. Personality 
is not an attribute, but an act of force. 

When the creature takes full possession of the liberty it 
has received it becomes a person. This decisive act may 

G 



98 CHRISTIANITY 



be accomplished in many ways. But this act is what God 
wills, for it is what constitutes the Avell-being of the creature. 

But this cannot take place apart from God. The well- 
being of the creature can only be effected by recognition of 
God and by maintaining union with Him by love. To be, 
and to be for itself, the creature must distinguish itself 
from God by an act which unites it to Him. This act is 
love. 

By the love of the creature for its Creator, all the pro- 
blems of reason are resolved. The work of creation is 
completed. God, the Absolute, Who, by His essence, is AE, 
abases Himself, by creation, to the sphere of relations ; He 
consents to be not-All, that He may re-become All by the 
act of His creature. 



THE INCARNATION 99 



CHAPTER VII 

THE HYPOTHESIS OF THE INCAKNATION 

Lva. Tovs 5vo KTicrrj Iv iavrip els eva Kaivov dvdpwirov, noiQu elpi^vrjv. 

— Eph. ii. 15. 

The difRciilty of obtaining a rational idea of God — The idea traverses two 
stages, one constructive, the otlier destructive — The first process, the 
idealizing of God — The second process, the emancipation of the idea 
from all relations — The triie rational idea of God one of negation — The 
rational idea opposed to the Ideal — Are philosophy and religion neces- 
sarily antagonistic?^ — The hypothesis of the Incarnation conciliates 
both — Christ is tlie Absolute and the Ideal — conciliates reason and 
sentiment — Belief and Eeason necessary to one another — No system of 
thouglit without a postulate — The postulate of the Incarnation may be 
turned into a demonstration — Elucidation of the difficulty of identify- 
ing the Absolute with the Ideal — and of considering God as a Person. 

¥E have seen that man cannot reahze his personality, 
and obtain his liberty in its entirety, except on the 
condition of acknowledging and loving God. 

To acknowledge God he must make an act of will ; to 
love God he must make an act of sentiment or of faith. 

Here we encounter a difficulty which has been already 
indicated. There is a contradiction between the idea of 
God formed by tlie reason, and the idea of God desired by 
the heart. When Simonides was asked by King Hiero to 
define God, he asked a day to consider ; at the end of that 
day, instead of giving his answer, he demanded two more, 
and when these were expired, he requested four; "for," 



loo CHRISTIANITY 



said he, " tlie more I consider the subject, tlie more 1 find 
the difficiihies double upon me." 

These difficulties arise from the rational idea of God 
having to traverse two stages, very different, the first con- 
• structive, the latter destructive. 

Let us consider the first process. 

Our conception of God being derived from ourselves and 
the objects affecting us, we can form no idea except one 
made up of materials furnished by our experience and 
reflection. Therefore we select whatever powers and quali- 
ties we find amongst ourselves, and consider to be most 
commendable; we separate them from everything gross, 
material and imperfect, and heighten them to the utmost 
imaginable pitch ; — the aggregate of all these makes uj) our 
first rational conception of God. 

Consequently our idea of the Deity is that of the arche- 
type of our own minds. 

And as w^e perceive that virtue assumes a multitude of 
diverse forms, this variety discovered in intelligent beings 
convinces us that the most perfect Being is He who unites 
in Himself the greatest number, or the sum total, of all 
these perfections. By generalization of this sort, Plato, 
Descartes and Fenelon were led to the most comprehensive 
idea of God as the focus of all perfections of which Hig 
creatures are radiations. 

But this conception of God is entirely humanistic. To 
say that He is infinitely powerful, infinitely wise, infinitely 
just, infinitely holy, is but the raising of human qualities 
to the n*^ power. 

These qualities are simply inconceivable apart from the 
existence of the world and man. If we give Him these 
qualities, save for the sake of bringing His existence within 
the scope of our faculties, we must allow that before the world 



THE INCARNATION loi 

was they were not ; because, apart from the existence of the 
world and man, these qualities are simply inconceivable. 

Power is the exercise of superior force against a body 
that resists. Suppress the idea of resistance, and the idea 
of power disappears. Wisdom is inconceivable apart from 
something about which it can be called into operation. 
Goodness implies something towards which it can be shewn. 
Justice cannot be exerted in a vacuum where there is 
neither good nor evil, right nor wrong. Can God do wrong ? 
Impossible. Tlien it is as unsuitable to apply to Him the 
term holy as it is to employ it of stick or stone which also 
cannot do what is wrong. 

We pass, then, to the second stage of rationalizing on 
God. 

The God that we have been considering is personal, and 
an ideal of perfection, with infinite attributes. 

But this conception is defective, if not wrong ; for it has 
been formed out of our empirical faculties, the imagination 
and the sentiment, and is simply an hypothesis dressed up 
in borrowed human attributes. 

, The idea of infinity which rejects every limitation, leads 
to the denial of attributes to God. For, if His intelligence 
be infinite. He does not pass from one idea to another, but 
knows all perfectly and instantaneously ; to Him the past, 
the present and the future are not ; therefore He can neither 
remember nor foresee. He can neither generalize nor ana- 
lyze ; for, if He were to do so, there would be some detail 
in things, the conception of which would be wanting to 
Him ; He cannot reason, for reasoning is the passage from 
two terms to a third; and He has no need of a middle 
term to perceive tlie relation of a principle to its conse- 
quence. He cannot think, for to think is to allow of suc- 
cession in ideas. 



1 02 CHRISTIANIT Y 



He is therefore immutable in His essence ; in Him are 
neither thoughts, feelings, nor will. Indeed, it is an abuse 
of words to speak of being, feeling, willing, in connexion 
with God, for these words have a sense limited to finite ideas, 
and are therefore inadmissible when treating of the Absolute. 

The vulgar idea of God is not one tliat the reason can 
admit. He is neither infinite, nor absolute, necessary, 
universal, nor perfect. 

He is not infinite ; for God is infinite only on condition 
of beino; All. But a God meeting His limitation in nature, 
the world and humanity, is not All. Also, if He be a 
person. He will be a being, and not merely being. 

He is not absolute ; for how can He be conceived apart 
from all relations; if He be a person. He feels, thinks, 
wishes, and here we have relations, conditions imposed on 
the Absolute, and He ceases to be absolute. 

He is not necessary ; the idea representing Him as ne- 
cessary is the result of a psychological induction : but 
induction cannot confer on the ideas it discovers the cha- 
racter of necessity. 

He is not universal ; for, an individual, however great, ex- 
tended, powerful, and perfect, cannot be universal. What is 
individual is particular, and the particular cannot be the All. 

He is not perfect ; for how can He be perfect to A\'honi 
the universe is added. It was necessary, or it was not 
necessary ; if necessary. He was imperfect without it ; if not 
necessary. He is imperfect with it. 

Thus we begin rationalizing on God by making Him our 
Ideal of all human perfections, and then we endeavour to 
form an idea of Him apart from these relations. AVe sup- 
press them one after another, as being accidents and 
contradictions, and hope thus to conclude the essence of 
God, and we attain only a blank. 



THE INCARNATION 103 

Voltaire said, "We have no adequate notion of the 
Divinity ; we creep along from guess to guess, from pos- 
sibilities to probabilities ; and we reach very few certainties. 
Is this supreme artizan infinite ? is He everywhere ? is He 
in one spot ? We have no scale, no standpoint for judging. 
We feel that we are under the hand of an invisible Being ; 
that is all, and we cannot take a step beyond. There is an 
insensate temerity in man endeavouring to divine Avhat 
this Being is, if He be extended or not, if He exists in one 
place or not, how He exists, and how he operates." ^ 

Plato would not say, " God is being," but merely, " God 
is above being." 

Tims the science of God is reduced to a simple enuncia- 
tion of His existence ; which is a result as indifferent to 
man, as an affectional attraction or a moral influence, as if 
He were denied altogether. 

For the suppression of qualities is the suppression of the 
idea of being. The sky is extended and blue : take from it 
the accidents of extension and colour, a,nd it is not, at least, 
to us. So, when we put aside all determinations of God, 
God is to us a frost-bitten reality at best, practically nothing, 
and we are left indifferent whether He is or is not. 

To be rigidly logical the Deist should say nothing of 
God ; he cannot even predicate His existence without to 
some extent anthropomorphizing Him. " If there be a 
God," said Pascal, " He is infinitely incomprehensible ; since 
having neither parts, nor limbs. He has no relation to us." 
Force, in like manner, can only be conceived in its 
relation to matter. Let matter drop out of consideration, 
and the idea of force has instantaneously disappeared. 
I can form no notion whatever of force in vacuum. 
Introduce a particle of matter, and it both realizes itself 
1 Dictionnaire pliilosopliique : art. Dieu. 



I04 CHRISTIANITY 



and is conceivable by me. Once it was supposed tliat the 
space between the atmospheric envelope of the earth and the 
sun was void. That idea has been abandoned as untenable, 
for it was perceived that the transmission of force, whether 
as light, heat or electricity, without a medium, was im- 
possible. 

If we attempt to give a rational description of God, we 
find it only possiljle to do so by negatives. AVe labour to 
emancipate the idea of the Deity from all relations, and the 
result is that we reduce Him to an axiomatic point, with- 
out parts and magnitude, and in Himself nothing. The 
defect in every theosophic system has been the admission 
of a relative conception into the scheme. The most gigantic 
efforts have been made to abstract the notion of God from 
all contingencies and yet preserve its reality ; but the heel 
of the argument by which it was held has always been 
outside of abstraction, and in that it has been vulnerable by 
the shaft of criticism. 

S. Augustine, the story goes, was pacing the shore, 
meditating on the nature of God, and endeavouring to form 
a crisp definition thereof. He passed and repassed a little 
child engaged in pouring sea-water out of a cockle-shell 
into a hole in the sand. 

"My son," asked the bishop, "what are you attempt- 
ing ? " "I am about to emjDty the ocean into this hole." 
" That is impossible." " Not more impossible," repHed the 
child, " than for you to compress the Infinite within the 
circle of your skull." And he vanished. 

The intellectual conception of God becomes entirely dis- 
tinct from the Ideal of perfection, for perfections are only 
human attributes raised to the highest pitch ; and as the 
idea of God ceases to be the Ideal, it ceases to exercise any 
influence on man's heart. In face of a God known only as 



THE INCARNATION 105 

a series of negations he is like the earth under an unveiled 
sky, radiating off all his warmth into vacuum and freezing 
into stone. 

Here there is a problem of the highest difficulty. 

In order to realize his nature man must love God, but 
he cannot love Him, because he can know nothing of Him. 
Yet a voice within him bids him love and worship God. 
Aristotle said that man was a political animal, he miglit 
have added, he was a religious animal also. He must form 
an ideal, and reason forbids that ideal to be God ; for that 
ideal is essentially relative and human. 

It is impossible for him to find in God consolation and 
peace, if God be of a nature wholly different from his own. 
He cannot partake of the satisfaction of a Being who is not 
identical in kind with himself". Everything that lives 
finds rest and contentment only in its own nature, in its 
own element. Consequently, if God is to complete and 
express man's nature, He must be the ideal of man in his 
entirety, not of his hard reason alone, but of his warm 
affections also. 

Eeason is rigid and bloodless, neutral, impartial and 
composed. It formulates law, and aj)plies it without com- 
punction, iron-hard and ice-cold, to the quivering flesh. It 
traces the nerves of man's necessities, not for the purpose 
of satisfying them, but that it may know tliem, look on 
them, and pass by on the other side. 

The God of reason cannot be the object of religion. 

Here then is an opposition. The object of reason on one 
side, the object of sentiment on the other; the rational 
ideal and the religious ideal at opposite poles. 

We have seen in the first volume what have been the 
alternatives to men seeking their Ideal, now in religion and 
then in philosophy. 



1 06 CHRIS TIA NIT V 



We have seen the religious ideal, uncorrected and unbal- 
anced by the reason, rush into abysses of passion ; and men 
in following it lose themselves in mysticism or in sensuality. 
The raptures of ecstatics, their visions and trances, are a 
phenomenon resulting from the prosecution of an unregu- 
lated religious passion ; the orgies of Mylitta, Atergatis, and 
Atys arise from the same source. On the other hand, philo- 
sophy withdrew the idea of God from the range of the 
emotions, and left man pulseless and despairing. 

The antinomy was inevitable ; religion was sensuous, and 
philosophy was impracticable. 

But is conciliation impossible ? We have already seen 
that apparent antagonisms are not necessarily contradictory. 

" To declare Avar against religion, in the name of philo- 
sopliy," says Victor Cousin, " is a great mistake ; for 
philosophy cannot replace religion, and in attempting to do 
so it manifests its ambition and its incapacity. On the 
other hand, it is no less folly for men to wage war against 
j)hilosophy in the name of religion, and to attract to 
Christianity by calumniating reason, degrading intellect, 
and brutalizing man, Eeligion and philosophy are two 
powers equally necessary, which, thank God, cannot destroy 
each other, and which might easily be united for the 
pacification of the world and the benefit of the human 
race."^ 

It is at this point that Christianity steps forward and 
presents its great hypothesis of the Incarnation, as the only 
possible mode of escape from the dilemma, and of solving 
the problem. 

Christianity asserts that God who, as we have seen, con- 
descends to create, has condescended further, to meet the 
exigencies of the nature He had made, by conjoining the 

1 rrefaceto Pascal : by V. CoiLsin. Paris, 1817. 



THE INCARNATION 107 

infinite to tlie finite, "by taking of the manhood into 
God." 

That this hypothesis is paradoxical cannot be denied. It 
is a contradiction of terms; for it asserts that the abstract, 
infinite and eternal Grod has become contingent, finite, and 
mortal. As Alexander Natalis elegantly puts it, " Dens, 
factus est homo; Filius seterni Patris, filius hominis; 
Verbum, infans ; Vita, mortalis ; Lux, in tenebris." 

I said that the existence of the Avorld is irrational, so is 
the dogma of the Incarnation. 

I do not say that either is impossible. The existence of 
the world is a fact, a super-rational fact ; so also, may be, the 
Incarnation is a fact above reason. 

Take an illustration which may suggest its possibility. 

Matter is necessary for the manifestation of Force. It 
has been supposed, not without show of reason, that matter 
is itself not distinct from force, but is a mode of force. 
That is, force alone exists, it materializes itself, not by 
entering into a foreign substance, but, by entering into 
a modification of itself, it exteriorizes and manifests itself. 
Thus the Incarnation is the manifestation of the Love of 
God, which is itself a mode, or a Personality, according to 
Catholic language, of the Absolute. 

If the hypothesis of the Incarnation be true, God is still 
all that the reason can conceive of Him. He is also all that 
the heart can desire in Him. 

If he were God alone, He would not be the ideal of man's 
heart, and therefore not an object of religious devotion. 

If He were Man alone, He would not be the end of 
man's reason, and therefore not an ol)ject of philosophic 
thought. 

But as the complete Ideal, He is God in man, and man 
in God, axis, centre, and circumference of all that is and all 



io8 CHRISTIANITY 



that can be. To tlie world of ideas and feelings He is what 
the centre of gravity is to the world of matter. 

As Newton was led by the observation of the fall of 
bodies to the earth, whether at England or at the Antipodes, 
to conjectiu^e the existence of a centre of gravity, so we, 
observing the fall from opposite directions of sentimental 
and rational conclusions, may produce their lines till they 
meet, and call that point of junction Christ. 

Indivisibly Man-God, He is, as ]\Ian, the new Adam, 
the universal Man, who contains, without confounding, 
says S. John Chrysostom, all men, all humanity; of 
wliose nature He is the archetype and perfection ; so that 
all the manifestations of human sentiment, thought, desire, 
and action, must be unified and synthesized in Him. 

But this universal conciliation can only be supposed to 
operate in virtue of His being God as well as man, so that 
He may efface, in the unity of love and of reason, all those 
diversities which are produced by the apparent contradic- 
tions and finite manifestations of man. 

Christ, comprehending in one the two natures, human 
and divine, being the union of the relative and the absolute, 
is therefore the living realization of that Ideal, infinite in 
itself, and infinite in each of its terms, which marks the 
phases of His eternal work. 

Mediator between the create and tlie uncreate, which are 
united in Himself, He is, in His Church, wliich is His body, 
the eternal harmonizer of all individual reasons in the unity 
of the Divine reason, or the Word made flesh, conceived 
and realized by the Spirit of infinite love, in whom all love 
is also universalized. 

To him who accepts the dogma of the Incarnation there 
can be no real antagonism between reason and sentiment, 
philosophy and religion. Tlie supposition forbids the 



THE INCARNATION 109 

possibility of their being iiiutually destructive. To con- 
sider reason to be hostile to revelation is to regard God as 
divided against Himself, labouring to destroy His own work. 
Eeason is a gift of God and faitli is a gift of God. Each 
has its own sphere. Combat between them, as Leibnitz 
says, is God fighting against God.^ 

Each is necessary to man ; each in its own sphere. Faith 
is the conviction of the heart, and it is absolutely impossible 
that a thesis which is opposed to it can be veritably demon- 
strated. Truth is That which is. I arrive at Truth through 
my sentiment. I put together two sentimental truths and 
conclude a third, the third is a rational truth. A rational 
truth cannot contradict a sentimental truth. That which 
is cannot overthrow that which is. 

The last Council of the Lateran, held under Leo X., 
established dogmatically that philosophic verity and theo- 
logical verity are always in accord : " Cum verum vero 
minime concordicat, omnem assertionem veritati illumi- 
nate lidei contrariam omnino falsam esse definimus.'"' S. 
Thomas Aquinas, in like manner, always full of respect for 
the rights of reason, concludes that the light of faith cannot 
eclipse the light of intelligence ; and that philosophy and 
religion cannot be ranged in hostile ranks.^ 

How comes it about that they do clash ? Eor practically 
we find philosophy attacking Christianity, and the Church 
arming herself against philosophy. 

This is the result of reason and faith attempting to in- 
vade each other's territory. 

If reason attempt to operate without belief of some sort 
as material, it is making bricks without straw. If faith at- 
tempt to build Avithout reason as its architect, its structure 
is without cement and will fall to ruins at a touch. 

^ Essais de Tlieodicee, No. 39. - Coneil. Lat., sess. 8. 

^ Boet : de Trin., qu. 2, art. 3. 



1 1 o CHRIS TIA NIT Y 



Eeasoii is dependent on faith, and faith is helpless with- 
out reason. A belief of some sort underlies every system 
of thought. If we bore as deep as we can through systems, 
the deepest thing we reach is an undemonstrable thesis, 
which is accepted and believed in as a verity. It is the 
primary substance which is unaffected by the most corrosive 
acid so long as it remains uncombined. 

Eeason has to deal with facts, but it cannot deal with 
things as facts till they have been asserted, Until they 
have been cognized, they are non-existent ; they begin to 
exist relatively to our reason only wdien they have been 
cognized, that is, when they have become beliefs. 

Every logical act of the intellect is an assertion that 
something is. Each major premiss is a belief, each minor 
premiss is a belief; each conclusion is a belief, but this 
alone is a rational belief; and an argument is an enchain- 
ment of related beliefs. 

Belief is the distinguishing of the existent from the non- 
existent, it is the predication of reality, and on this reality 
depends the possibility of reasoning. We may deny all 
other things, and yet leave our logical forms intact, but if 
we deny belief, with the denial, not only does the thing- 
abolished disappear, but argument disappears as well.^ 

Some truths are irrational, some are rational. An hypo- 
thesis is always irrational. The primary beliefs we start 
from, the identity of the exterior world with the ideas we 
form of it, our own personality, and the like, are irrational, 
but they are the basis of scientific and metaphysical argu- 
ment, and the conclusions derived from the assumption of 
these hypotheses are rational verities. But, if w^e assume a 
God, that assumption will be an irrational truth, and we can 

^ See a very able article on "The Uuiversal Postulate," in tlie West- 
minster Ecvicw, N. S., vol. iv. 1853. 



THE INCARNATION in 



deduce from it the verity of our primary beliefs, and then they 
become rational truths. Or, starting from these primary 
beliefs I may argue the existence of God, and thus His 
existence becomes a rational truth. 

In the first volume I have shewn that philosophical 
systems are divided into three groups ; the school which 
starts from the exterior world, as really existing, that 
which argues from the reality of personal consciousness, and 
that of the sceptics who refused to argaie from assumptions. 

Thus, the Ionic school and that of Pythagoras laid down 
the existence of the Universe as an indisputable fact. The 
Eleatics distinguished the essence of being from phenomena. 
Protagoras made man the measure of aU things, and Socrates 
and Plato followed his lead. The same antagonism re- 
emerged in the Epicurean and Stoic schools, and the new 
sceptics trod them both under foot with a denial of the first 
axiom of both, declaring that it was sheer impossibility to 
arrive at truth from internal consciousness or from sensible 
observation. Descartes re-affirmed the conscient self as the 
only true foundation on which philosophy could be reared ; 
Hobbes and Hume place all knowledge in the evidence of 
the senses; Kant returned to the Cartesian thesis, and rooted 
his system in rational intuition. Ficlite and Hegel con- 
tinued his work. The Positivists, at once inconsistent and 
Catholic, despairing of attaining Truth by metaphysical 
argument, reject all evidence that is not sensibly knowable, 
and then accept both reason and sensation as the criteria of 
truth, and base their philosophy, not on one, but on two 
undemonstrable hypotheses. 

Christianity is, in like manner, based on hypotheses which 
are beyond the possibility of demonstration, without assum- 
in<T other hypotheses. If I take the Incarnation as an ir- 
rational verity, I can argue from it to other truths which 



112 CHRISTIANITY 



are rational. Or starting from the existence of tlie "svorld 
and the facts of human nature, I can argue up to it. 

My course, in the first five chapters, has been to shew 
from the constitution of man and his nature that such a 
dogma is essential to him. In the sequel I shall argue from 
the Incarnation to its logical consequences. 

But before proceeding with my argument, I wish to say 
a few words which may remove some of the difficulties be- 
setting the conciliation of the rational idea of God, and tlie 
sentimental Ideal. 

According to the hypothesis Christ harmonizes both ; that 
is, in Him both are true. 

The rational conception of God is that He is ; nothing 
more. To giA'e Him an attribute is to make Him a relative 
God. 

The sentimental conception of God is that He is the 
perfection of relations ; the tendency of sentimentalism is 
to deny that He is absolute. 

Both are true and both are false ; both are true in their 
positive assertions, both are false in their negations. 

Before the world was, God was the Absolute, inconceiv- 
able save as being. AVe cannot attribute to Him any 
quality, for qualities are inconceivable apart from matter. 

Properly speaking, the name of God is not to be given 
to the Absolute before creation ; the Absolute is the only 
philosophical name admissible, and that is unsatisfactory, 
for it is negative ; but the idea of God before matter was 
must be incomprehensible by material beings. 

This transcendent principle, superior to the world and to 
all thought, is the fixed, immanent, immutable Being, force 
in vacuum, unrealized, unrevealed. 

By love, the Absolute calls the world into being, and 
becomes God, that is — let me be clearly imderstood — He is 



THE INCARNATION 113 

at once absolute and relative, and as relative He is God, 
and clothes Himself in attributes. Towards creation He is 
good, wise, just; nay, the perfection of goodness, wisdom 
and justice, the Ideal of the heart. 

The creation is the first step, the Incarnation is the 
second. The first leads necessarily to the second ; it is the 
passage from relations simple to relations perfect ; it is the 
bringing within the range of man's A'ision the Divine Per- 
sonality. I know that the question has been ventilated, 
whether personality implies limitation, and therefore makes 
it impossible for the Deity to be a person. It has been 
asserted that to precise the idea of I-myself is to distinguish 
one's self from others ; and that, as nothing can exist outside 
of God, God cannot distinguish Himself from other things, 
and therefore He cannot be personal. 

But to this I answer, that our ideas of personality are 
purely relative. Human thought can only attain God in 
His relations to the world, and the limits of our knowledge 
are not the boundaries of reality. 

If one wishes to make the personality of God an express 
philosophical proposition, without abandoning the idea of 
personality being necessarily relative, one may say that 
God constituted Himself a person by the act of creation. 
Those who deny the divine personality probably deny 
creation. 

God is not a person in the human sense, which is exclu- 
sive of other personalities. He is immutable, all-inclusive, 
absolutely free, intelligent and loving, that is. He is per- 
sonal, because the world exists, and by its existence He 
becomes relative. 

Thus, the proposition that every personality is limited 
and relative does not exclude the Divine personality. But 
this thesis, taken in itself, is very contestable ; it reposes 

H 



1 14 CHRISTIANITY 



on a confusion of the idea of universality, infinity and 
absolutism, and on an abuse of the facts of conscience. 

Man, it is quite true, only recognizes himself as a person 
by excluding other persons ; Ijut it does not follow that 
this relation is essential to personality. One might say 
with the same right that personality implies conscience of 
a body, which is true in the same sense. 

There is therefore no rational motive for contesting the 
Divine personality. 



THE DOGMA OF MEDIATION 115 



CHAPTEE VIII 

THE DOGMA OF MEDIATION 

" Versteh ! Uiteiidliches mid Ejidliches, das dir scheint 
So iinvereinlar, ist diirch Eines dock vereittt."'^ — Ruckert. 

The advantage of tlie Hegelian trichotomy — dread of Hegelianism — unrea- 
sonable — Hegel's method destined to reconcile philosophy to religion — 
The finite and the infinite supposed to be irreconcileable — The Incarna- 
tion consequently rejected as absurd — The true idea of the infinite — of 
space and time — The ideas of space and time inapplicable to God — 
relative only — The Word the equation between the Infinite and the 
finite — He is the Mediator as well. 

THE Hegelian method has this paramount advantage, 
tliat it complements all other philosophical systems. 
If we establish the reality of the phenomenal, material and 
finite world, we establish at the same time its opposite, the 
super-phenomenal, immaterial and infinite, and also the link, 
man, touching simultaneously the material and the immar 
terial. If we start from man, his vague consciousness of 
the supernatural and his vivid apprehension of the natural 
point him out to be the axis of two moments, leaning un- 
duly to the latter, may be, but nevertheless conscious of 
the former, and thus establishing the reality of the Bound- 
less and the Bouuded. 

1 " Understand ; infinite and finite, what appears to thee 
So irreconcileable, are yet reconciled through One." 



1 1 6 CHRISTIANIT V 



If we start from the Absolute, we have at once the oppo- 
site, the phenomenal world, and its conciliating, double- 
faced moment, man. 

Hegelianism has created unnecessary alarm in some 
religious minds. M. Saisset misunderstands Hegel, and 
holds him up to scorn.^ The Pere Gratry, one of the most 
eminent theologians of the Gallican Church, thinks that 
the mention of his trichotomy is sufficient to entitle him 
to be called an atheist.^ M. Lewes has fallen into the 
same mistake.^ Yet Hegel was himself a Christian, and, 
in his obscure and uncouth way, he laboured to reconcile 
his philosophy with Christian dogma. That he did not 
make himself intelligible is not astonishing to any one 
familiar with his style ; that he failed to perfect the union, 
was due to his Lutheran prejudices. 

Aristotelianism was, in the same way, dreaded as sub- 
versive to Christianity. Tertullian called the Stagyrite 
the patriarch of heretics, and a French council at Paris in 
1209 proscribed his writings. N'evertheless, S. Thomas 
Aquinas mastered his method, and Aristotelianized Chris- 
tianity. 

In like manner, if I am not mistaken, Hegel is destined 
to play a conspicuous part in the reconciliation of modern 
thought to the dogma of the Incarnation. He supplies a 
key to unlock the golden gate which has remained closed 
to the minds of modern Europe. 

It is incorrect to assert, as is done repeatedly, that Hegel 
lays down the identity of contraries. He teaches that 
every thesis implies and contains an antithesis and its 
mediating moment, which is their synthesis. That Hegel 

1 Modern Pantlieism, vol. ii. treatise 7. 

^ Philosopliie du Credo, p. 26 ; Logique, vol. i. p. 194. 

^ History of Philosophy, vol. ii. p. 545. 



THE DOGMA OF MEDIATION 117 

was tlie first to create this method is not pretended. He 
was anticipated by Heraclitus, who taught that contradic- 
tory propositions may be consistent.^ And S. Augustine, 
in his Confessions, says, " You have taught me, Lord, that 
before you gave form to inform matter to distinguish it, it 
was not anything ; it was neither form nor body nor spirit, 
nevertheless it was not altogether notliing, but the mean 
between being and not-being.'"^ S. Clement of Alexandria, 
S. Vincent of Lerins, and Lactantius, without stating the 
foundations of the Hegelian method, act upon it and pre- 
suppose it. The Hegelian trichotomy, fully api^rehended, 
casts a flood of light over the argument of S. Paul, and 
makes intelligible to us what was probably only obscurely 
seen and vaguely felt by himself. 

Perhaps one of the greatest impediments to the accep- 
tance of the dogma of the Incarnation is the apparent 
impossibility of conceiving the union of two contradictions 
in one person, of the finite and the infinite in Christ. 

As M. Larroque says : " To the dogma of the divinity of 
Jesus is attached that of the incarnation, which, more pro- 
perly, may be said to be only another expression of the 
same. If Jesus is not God, it is clear that God was not 
incarnate in His person. Hence it is unnecessary to insist 
at length on what is impossible and contradictory, viz., 
that the infinite and perfect essence should be circumscribed 
and limited in a finite and imperfect essence; in other 
terms, that the Divinity should be added to the humanity, 
or, if the expression be preferred, the humanity should be 
added to the Divinity ; or that the same being should be, 
at the same time, God and man. From the point of view 

1 'HpaKXetros to avrli^ovv (svjx<pipov Kal e/c tQv OiatpepovTwu KaWiffTTji' 
apfioviav Kal iravra kclt tpcv yiueadcLi. — Arist. Ethic. Nic. lib. viii. 1. 
'^ Confess, lib. xii. c. 3, 4. 



CHRISTIANITY 



of the dogma of the Incarnation, Christ, as God, is an 
infinite and perfect spirit ; but as man, veritable and com- 
plete, he is made of soul and body, finite and imperfect 
as is everything belonging to our nature. Consequently, 
theology is led to sustain that the human soul of Christ 
does not comprehend God any better than do we. It fol- 
lows that, in spite of the intimate union of the two natures, 
and, on the other side, of the very reason of that union, 
there is at once, in the same person, two beings, one of whom 
does not know the other, and in the same individual two 
distinct personalities, which is downright nonsense."^ 

This objection rests on the assumption that the finite 
and the infinite mutually exclude one another, and that, 
therefore, their synthesis is impossible. A few considera- 
tions on the nature of infinity will make it apparent that 
synthesis is by no means as absurd to suppose as M. Lar- 
roqvie thinks. 

When we say that God is infinite, we do not mean that 
He is of immeasurable size and duration, but that He is 
beyond all space and time. He is neither in space nor in 
time ; for this reason He is eternal and infinite, and there- 
fore He is also incomprehensible." 

The difficulty lies in admitting the possibility of any 
being existing outside of space and time, — a difficulty so 
great at first sight, that it is not surprising that persons 
should have taken infinity to consist of extension through 
unbounded space and time. They suppose space and time 
to be realities, having true existence, and herein lies their 

^ Patrice Larroquc, : Examen critique ties doctriues de la Religion Clire- 
tieniie. Bruxelles, 1864. T. i. p. 165-169. 

"^ Jiiles Simon : La Keligion Naturelle, c. 2. Leibnitz : Nouveaux 
Essais. Balniez: Fundamental Philosophy, hk. iii. Aristotle and Des- 
cartes held tlie same opinion of time and space. 



THE DOGMA OF MEDIATION 119 



mistake. There are, in this world, only three manners of 
being — substance, quality, and relation. In other terms, 
we can conceive substances, the diverse qualities of these 
substances, and the diverse relations in which they stand 
to one another. Space is therefore either a substance, or a 
quality, or a relation. Substance, is either a body or a 
spirit, or an union of both. Space obviously does not come 
within this category. It is therefore not a substance, nor 
is it the quality of a substance. For if it were, there would 
be some objects or some qualities which were without it, 
or which had qualities opposed to it. AVe are therefore 
l)rought to conclude that it is a pure relation in which one 
substance stands to another substance, and nothing more. 

If we suppose for a moment that space exists, and that 
God placed the world in it, why did He place it in the spot 
it occupies instead of any other spot, all space being alike, 
and no one point being preferable to any other point ? 
God acted without having a reason, for if space is. His 
choice of a place was arbitrary ; but God cannot act irra- 
tionally. Therefore space is not. Supposing space to 
exist, fcr se, there is no escape from this dilemma. 

If there were no body with extension, there would be no 
space ; space would be possible, because the existence of 
bodies would be possible; but it would not become real 
till bodies were produced. 

According to Descartes, the essence of body is in exten- 
sion ; and as we necessarily conceive extension in space, it 
follows that space, body, and extension, are three essentially 
identical things. Extension without a body to extend is a 
contradiction; for a body is because it is extension, and 
extension is not a body, because "we are supposing that 
there is no body. 

Leibnitz also tliinks that space is " a relation, an order, 



1 20 CHRISTIANIT Y 



not only between things existing, but also between possible 
tilings if they existed."^ 

We say of a body that it is above or below, before or 
behind another. For these qualifications to be intelligible, 
it is clear that void space is not sufficient; it must be 
occupied, and that by two different bodies : for all these 
expressions designate the relation one bears to the other. 
All idea of size is also relative ; we say that one thing is 
greater. or smaller than another by comparing them. Take 
a stick a foot long. Is it long or short ? The question is 
absurd. It is long compared with another stick an inch 
long ; it is short beside one a yard long. Size is therefore 
nothing i:)cr sc but the comparison of bodies. 

What has been said of space applies also to time, which 
is the order of succession^ as space is the order of conti- 
guity. 

If everything were immovable, there would be no time ; 
if all moved in the same order, simultaneously, there would 
be no time ; but let one thing move, and another remain 
stationary, and time appears. Thus time implies, like size, 
a duality, a comparison. Time and space are closely allied ; 
that wdiicli engenders time is movement; thus both are 
engendered by duality. Extension and movement are 
comprehended in a common term : duality, or the simplest 
form of multiplicity. 

Time is duration; but duration without somethin" to 
endure is an absurdity. There can be no time without 
something existing, whose relation to something else it 
expresses. Time has no proper existence, and separated 
from beings, is annihilated. Hence it foUows that the 
infinity we attribute to time has no rational foundation. 
Infinite time is impossible, indefinite duration is possible. 

^ Nouveaux Essais, 1. ii. c. 13. 



THE DOGMA OF MEDIATION 121 

Time commences with mutable things ; if they perish, it 
perislies with them. There is no succession without muta- 
tion ; and consequently, no time. Time in things is their 
succession. Time in the understanding is the perception 
of this mutation. It is nothing absolute in itself ; it is the 
relation borne by beings to one another in the order of 
succession. 

When there is no perception of mutation, there is no 
knowledge of time. The chaplain who was shut into the 
black hole for an hour, according to the author of " Never 
too late to Mend," thought he had passed a twelvemonth 
in pitch darkness. When Doctor Faustus was borne on 
Satan's wings through the abyss — 

" How long the time in passing tlirougli 
The murky darkness, Faustus never knew ; 
For, in that gloom, there was no change to tell 
Of time — but unendurable 
Whether a second or a century, 
For there eternity had ceased to be 
Articulate." 

If art did not furnish us with the means of measurins: 
time, we would easily lose the faculty of appreciating it. 
When travelling in Icelandic deserts at Midsummer, during 
a fortnight of cloud, I made a day. I was without watch, 
and the sun was invisible. I rode till tired, then encamped, 
woke when refreshed, and rode again, and arrived at an 
inhabited fjord after what I believed to have been fourteen 
days, but which proved to have been only thirteen. 

According to an Arabian tale, a Sultan was persuaded 
by a dervish to plunge his head into an enchanted basin 
full of water. Instantly the Sultan found himself at sea 
swimming to save his life. Wearied with battling with 
the waves, he reached a shore on which he flung himself. 
There he was found, and made a slave of. After years of 



122 CHRISTIANITY 



captivity, he escaped, fled over the deserts, and arrived in 
Cairo. There, famished and houseless, he became a tailor, 
and made garments to gain a livelihood. He married, had 
a family, and so years rolled by. One day he was accused 
of some crime or other, and was sentenced to death. He 
mounted the scaffold, the executioner brandished the sabre, 
and . . . the Sultan raised his head out of the water, to 
see himself surrounded by his guards, with the dervish 
beside him. The Sultan, in a quart of water, had lived 
twenty years in one minute. 

It is perhaps natural that those who have to struggle in- 
cessantly with space and time should deceive themselves as 
to its nature, and erect what are mere relations into positive 
existences. So the ancients personified and deified Time. 
Many philosophers, without exactly going so far as to 
anthropomorphize Time, have at least given it substance. 
But Leibnitz, in liis controversy with Clarke, demonstrated 
conclusively the non-existence of time and space as entities, 
and shewed that they are only the relation of succession or 
of co-existence existing between things ; and tliat con- 
sequently such expressions as infinite time and infinite 
space mean the indefinite and nothing more. We can 
understand the infinity of a being, but not the infinity of a 
relation. 

A^^len we apply the term infinite to God, we mean that 
He is neither in time nor in space, but is altogether outside 
of them. AVheu we say that God is everywhere present, 

" Out beyond the sliiniug 
Of the farthest star, 
He is ever stretchiiiff 
Infinitely far," 

and that He is everlasting, " the same yesterday, to-day and 
for ever," we understate the idea of infinity. Time and 



THE DOGMA OF MEDIATION 



space are, not to the Absolute, and are terms wliolly in- 
applicable to Him. To the Absohite, the plenitude of being 
is, without succession and without co-existence, without 
duration that is, and without extension, or without time in 
which to endure, or space in which to extend. 

We may fix two points anywhere, draw a line between 
them, and divide up the line into any number of portions, 
and each portion bears a relation of a half, a quarter, an 
eighth, and so forth, to the A\diole ; and each is equal to, 
greater or less than, another portion, but neither the whole 
nor any part bears any relation to infinity. We cannot say 
that the line is a fraction of infinity, we cannot say that it 
is greater or less than infinity — for infinity belongs to an 
order with which comparison of length is out of the question. 

It is the same with time ; time is to us, but it is not to 
the Absolute. To Him there is no past, no present, no 
future, or past and future are at once present. 

Now — understanding the Infinite thus — is the union of 
the finite and the infinite an absurdity ? No. It is absurd 
only to those who mistake the infinite for the indefinite. 
It is absurd to say that a thousand square mdes are one 
with a square yard; and that the life of the centenarian 
raven and that of the May-fly are indissolubly united ; but 
it is not absurd to say that two natures which are opposite 
but not contradictory are harmonized in one, that God, in 
Himself, outside of time and space, should, when entering 
into relation witli man, become subject to those relations, 
without which He would be incognizable by man. As time 
and space have no real existence, and are relations only of 
co-existence and succession existing between men and 
between material objects, to become subject to time and 
space does not touch or affect in any way the nature of God, 
or infinity, it touches and affects the nature of man alone. 



124 CHRISTIANITY 



And if tlie iufiiiite be tlie oj^posed moment to the finite, 
a conciliating moment must be sought. For here we 4iave 
distinct ideas contrasting and yet implying one another. 
At least, we say of the finite that it is an idea which im- 
plies, not the indefinite, but the infinite, of which it is the 
negation;^ and of the infinite that it is the negation of all 
limitation and finality. 

As God is the plenitude of being, He is the plenitude of 
life without succession in it, and of thought universal. In 
Him how many ideas are there ? But one, for there is in 
Him but one eternal act. But this idea necessarily contains 
all possibilities. It contains, therefore, the idea of the finite. 
All that is, and all that can be, existed eternally in the idea 
of God. And with Him eternity and instantaneity are one. 
Tluis the idea of God contains eternally the infinite and tlie 
finite : the infinite as essence, and the finite as effect. 

Between the essential infinity and the realized finality 
there is opposition of natures ; they are radically inverse. 
Nevertheless the finite is possible, because the infinite is. 
But how can the Infinite pass to the finite, the Absolute 
call the limited into actuality ? Only through the Idea. 
True to our method, we must find the relation, not of the 
finite to the infinite, which is impossible, but of the infinite 
to the finite, or of the cause to the effect. But the effect can 
only be in reciprocal relation to the cause, on condition that 
it be equal to it, and that is impossible if creation be the 
sole efi'ect. The equation is imperfect, how is it to be per- 
fected ? By the Word or Idea, who is Himself the relation 
balancing the equation, who is Himself the mediator be- 
tween the infinite and the finite, without confusing either, 
but preserving the distinction by the very fact of His unit- 
ing them. 

' Cf. Descartes : Reponses aus ciuquiemes objections (3"' Med. sec. 4). 



THE DOGMA OF MEDIATION 125 

The Word, then, is the mediator bet\veen these antinomical 
factors. By Him the Infinite calls into existence the world 
of finalities, and the finite ascends towards God. It is not 
that in Christ, the two natures, the divine and the hnman, 
the infinite and the finite, are juxtaposed, so that in Him on 
one side is the man, and on the other side is the God, they are 
absolutely united so as to be indissolubly one without con- 
fusion of nature, any more than there is absorption of North 
pole and South pole, the axis of the earth uniting them. It 
unites by separating them. 

Christ is not simply God and man, but is God-man in- 
divisibly and simultaneously ; that is to say. He is at once 
the infinite, or the idea of the divine personality, and the 
finite, or the idea of the created personality. In Him the 
two personalities are not only welded together, and brought 
into reciprocal communion, but are emphasized and dis- 
tinguished at the same time. Without Him the Absolute 
could not have called the finite into existence, for there 
would be no mode of passage from the timeless and spaceless, 
the imponderable and immaterial Being to matter, subject 
to extension, duration, and gravitation; apart from Him 
man could not enter into relation with God, for he would 
be the finite dislocated from the infinite, without connecting 
bridge. 

Thus the dogma of the Incarnation is a necessary con- 
sequence to those who rightly comprehend the finite and the 
infinite. Without it, there is no possible relation between 
them, the Incarnation is the only conceivable conciliation. 
But that this notion of Christ should appear in its full 
grandeur, let the metaphysical idea be Advified by the con- 
templation of its application to living realities. 

If we rise from the mathematical point, the sole possible 
expression of matter in its condition of absolute indivisibility, 



126 CHRISTIANITY 



to the immensity of tlie sidereal universe, from tlie ultimate 
chemical atom throngh all degrees of the mineral reign, 
from the first vegetable embryo to the most complete animal ; 
if, passing onwards to man, we follow him from a -whimper- 
ing babe to the concej)tion of his unlimited personality in 
God through Christ, tracing the laborious stages of the pro- 
gressive development of humanity in history, what does this 
magnificent panorama of creation exhibit to us but the 
marvellous ascension of the finite under the form of the in- 
definite towards God, the Infinite ? Christ is to humanity 
not merely the Son of Mary, but the veritable Son of Man, 
resuming in Himself the entire creation, of which He is the 
protoplast and the archetjrpe. Thus, this conception of the 
whole visible universe in its projection towards the infinite, 
from the atom and the germ to the Man-God, is the complete 
equation of the infinite ; and from this point of view Christ 
is the Ideal of creation ; whilst from the Divine point of 
view He is the Idea of the creation. By Him the Idea was 
realized in creation, and by Him creation is raised towards 
the Infinite. 

God, the infinite Being, arrives at the finite only through 
the eternal Word, the mediating moment ; the creature, or 
the finite, can only lift itself towards the infinite by means 
of the same mediator. He is their point of junction and 
communion ; and this point of junction manifests itself by 
the association of the activities of the finite and the infinite 
for the reconciliation of the whole order, the things in heaven 
and the things in earth, all opposites wherever opposed, in 
one all-enfolding Idea. 

God operates through the Word, and man reaches the 
Father through Christ. In Him the action of God and the 
action of man meet, are focussed as in a lens, and diverge 
orderly. 



THE DOGMA OF MEDIATION 127 

By the conception of Christ as the eternal equation of the 
finite and. the infinite, one obtains a clear notion of the 
grandeur of the mystery of mediation. He is not merely 
the regenerator of man, He is the peacemaker between man 
and man, man and all nature, and man and God ; the link 
between man and man, and man and nature, and man and 
God. 



128 CHRISTIANITY 



CHAPTEE IX 

THE EVIDENCE EOR THE INCAENATION 

Saladin. / jiiiist think 

Thai the religions which I itavi^d can he 
Distingjiish'ci, e'oi to raiment, drink and food. 

Nathan. And only not as to their grounds of proof. 
Are not all bnilt alike on history, 
Traditio7ial, or ivrittcn. History 
Must be received on triist — is it not so 1 
In whojn now are ive likeliest to put our trust ? 

Lessing's Nathan the Wise. 

Private Judgment the basis of Certainty — Man accepts some trutlis by 
conviction, other truths on authority — Historical evidence always dis- 
putable — evidence of an historical religion especially so — The evidence 
of miracles unsatisfactory — Prophecy no evidence to the divinity of 
Christ — Scriptural evidence weak — 1. Scripture lays no claim to inspi- 
ration — 2. It is full of inaccuracies — 3. And of discrepancies — 4. Un- 
certainty of authorship— Difficulty of proving from Scripture the Divi- 
nity of Christ — The weakness of Protestantism — The authority of the 
Churcli — The evidence of our own Nature — The legitimate position of 
the Bible. 

AS I have shewn in a former chapter, Certainty is "based 
on Private Judgment ; that is, man's reason is the 
measure of truth to himself. He is satisfied of the truth 
of a proposition only when it has been demonstrated to 
him, and that demonstration has taken hold of and con- 
vinced his reason. 

But there are truths which are not absolutely certain, 



THE EVIDENCE 129 



and which man accepts on authority, which he admits as 
probable, though unable to verify them. Thus, the untra- 
velled and unscientific man believes that there is such a 
continent as Africa, that the earth revolves around the sun 
and upon its own axis, that the comets move in parabolas. 
But the certainty to him is not absolute, for it is not based 
on his own power of verification ; it is comparative certainty 
only. 

Thus man believes in truths of two kinds, in those of 
absolute certainty through direct conviction, and in those of 
comparative certainty through conviction of the trustworthi- 
ness of the authority which propounds them. 

If man refused to believe those truths which were not 
made evident to his reason, he could not live among his 
fellows, nor could he make the slightest progress in civili- 
zation. 

There may be, indeed there must be, truths which he 
cannot verify, and to deny these because of this impos- 
sibility of verification is to enclose himself within an orbit 
as narrow as that of the brute. At the same time, every- 
thing propounded on authority is not to be received, but 
must be weighed in the balance of private judgment, which 
thus becomes once more the ultimate criterium of the trust- 
worthiness of authority. 

Historical facts are, by their nature, removed from the 
possibility of verification, and in estimating them we have 
to bring the critical faculty, or reason, into play. Historical 
statements can never therefore be demonstrated to be 
absolutely true or to be absolutely false. The utmost that 
can be said of them is that the balance of probability is 
for, or against, their veracity. 

This doctrine applies necessarily to those historical state- 
ments wdiich form the backbone of a traditional religion ; 



I30 CHRISTIANITY 



and it applies to them with special force, for out of religious 
dogmas duties spring, which weave themselves around us, 
and govern more or less our whole lives. 

The dogma of the Incarnation is one which, if true, is 
entirely removed from the possibility of verification ; it 
was removed entirely from the possiLility of verification 
when Jesus Christ stood among His apostles. For to verify 
is to bring within the compass of the mind, and grasp in 
all its bearings, some dogma which is propounded. But, 
inasmuch as tlie human mind cannot embrace the Divinity, 
the relative cannot estimate the Absolute without ceasing 
to be relative ; it would be impossible therefore for any man 
to predicate of Jesus Christ that He was God, however great 
may have been the miracjes He performed, and however 
sublime may have been His ethical teaching. 

Jean-JacqTies Eousseau has observed that " the facts 
of the life of Socrates, of which nobody doubts, are much 
less satisfactorily proved than are those of Jesus, which are 
so widely disputed." For what reason ? Because the admis- 
sion of the facts of the life of Socrates does not entail any ob- 
ligation on the conscience, whereas those of Jesus are of the 
greatest consequence ; they are the foundation of a religion 
and of an ethical code. Consequently it is of importance 
to know on what evidence the doctrine of the Incarnation 
reposes. 

The evidence must be either in our own nature, or it 
must be authoritative : that is to say, we may be convinced 
because this dogma completely satisfies the wants of our 
spiritual being, and seems to us to be the only solution to the 
difficulties besetting the elaboration of our own individuality 
and the development of society, or because the authority on 
which w^e receive it is so strong that it is unassailable. 

The only authority that is unassailable is that of God 



THE EVIDENCE 131 



Himself. Do we receive testimony to this dogma direct 
from God ? The answer depends entirely on whether we 
accexDt the dogma of the Incarnation or not. Was Jesus 
God ? If He were, His word carries its guarantee with it. 
If He were not, it is worth nothing as evidence. 

How are we to know that He was God ? Tlie usual 
answer given to this is — Ly the miracles He wrought. 

But to this answer two objections arise. How can a 
miracle prove Him to be God ? and, what sufficient evidence 
have we that He really wrought miracles ? 

If God had designed to work a miracle, it may justly be 
argued, He would certainly have given, or suffered to be 
acquired, a preliminary knowledge of the laws on which the 
miraculous derogation would take effect. But man, even 
now, knows so little of the world, that he is at all moments 
arrested by facts in disaccord with those laws which he 
does know, facts which are only explained by laborious 
study, and a more profound exploration of the nature of 
things. Moreover, a miracle which took place at a certain 
place, at a certain time, and which was to serve all human- 
ity, must have been subjected to several or some witnesses. 
But the testimony of men, of history, of tradition, is never 
infallible ; and the guarantee to us of the fact of the miracle 
is a fallible guarantee after aU. 

The knowledge indispensable for proving the reality of a 
miracle was wanting to the men of the time when Christ 
came ; and the human witnesses might always be mistaken, 
or err involuntarily, or wilfully pervert the truth to suit 
their own ends. We may therefore assert that we cannot 
philosophically affirm that there is anything in the world, 
or in ourselves, which supposes the eventuality of a miracle 
called to prove a religious dogma. 

The miracles performed by Christ are brought forward 



132 CHRISTIANITY 



by some as evidences of His Divinity, but the testimony to 
these miracles is Scrij)ture, which, as I shall presently 
shew, will not bear such pressure put upon it. Supposing 
that the four Gospels were written by those under whose 
names they j)ass, the evidence is not in that case of the 
most complete description. It is evidence which we should 
unhesitatingly reject in profane history ; and which Protes- 
tants do reject, when they refuse t(3 believe the miracles 
wrought by the saints, by relics and by privileged images, 
many of which rest on better evidence and stand the test 
of criticism more surely than do those of the Gospel. Take 
the miracle of Cana of Galilee for instance. No names are 
given of the parties at the feast ; we do not know whether 
the wTiter describing the incident was present himself, or 
whether he heard it from an eyewitness. The transfor- 
mation of the water can only have been known to the 
servants, for they filled the water-pots and poured them 
out in wine ; but we have not their evidence. Whether 
they really drew out wine, vvdien they had poured in water, 
or whether they produced wine from some other source, we 
have no opportunity of knowing. And wdiat is remarkable 
also, is that the president of the feast and the bridegroom 
did not know that a miracle had been performed ; the ruler 
charged the bridegroom with having reserved the best wine 
till the first supply was exhausted, and the charge was not 
denied. 

The miracle of the recovery of the nobleman's son, again, 
— and the same may be said of almost all others — rests on 
no evidence. We have not the testimony of the father to 
the cure, we do not know what the sickness really was, and 
the recovery might have been a coincidence. 

Nor is the argument from prophecy more satisfactory. 



THE EVIDENCE 133 



for it may be urged with equal justice, on the opposite side, 
that the narrative was accommodated to the prophecies. 

The miraculous conception was believed by Joseph on the 
authority of a dream, evidence which would not satisfy any 
one now, if offered to prove identity, say in the case of a 
natural birth. The Virgin conceives and bears a son. Why ? 
Because, it may be very fairly argued, of the Messiah of 
prophecy, it was announced by Isaiah, or rather was thought 
to be announced, that a virgin should do so ; ^ and the com- 
piler of the narrative desired to adapt the history of Jesus 
to the prophetic sketch. A star heralds the birth of Jesus. 
Why ? Because Balaam the soothsayer had foretold there 
should rise a star out of Jacob. Wise men come from the 
East with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the young 
child. Why ? Because in Isaiah it had been proclaimed that 
" Gentiles shall come to thy light and kings to the brightness 
of thy rising ; " " all they from Sheba shall come : they shall 
bring gold and incense." Why was there a flight into Egypt ? 
The Evangelist gives the reason, because of the prophecy 
" Out of Egypt have I called My Son." AVhy was the 
potter's field bought ? The Evangelist says, because Jere- 
miah the prophet had said, " they took the thirty pieces of 
silver, the price of Him that was valued, whom they of the 
children of Israel did value ; and gave them for the potter's 
field, as the Lord ai^pointed me." In the first place, it was 
Zachariah, and not Jeremiah, who acted thus, and, in the 
second place, the verbal ambiguity in the Hebrew, the 
word translated " potter " really meaning " treasury," sug- 
gested the notion of purchasing the potter's field. 

1 The prophecy of the Maiden's son in Isaiah relates to a child in whose 
nonage the land of the two kings, wliose alliance was so dreaded by Ahaz, 
was to be deserted ; and the Hebrew " The, young woman" points her out 
to be some maiden known to Isaiah and Ahaz. 



1 34 CHRIST! A NIT V 



When, in addition to this, it is argued that most of the 
assigned prophecies are irrelevant, forced, and fanciful, or 
may be, and are still explained by the Jews in an entirely 
different sense, the proof drawn from the prophecies is left 
without demonstrative value. 

Nor is the historical evidence much more conclusive. 

Justus of Tiberias, who was born about five years after 
our Lord's death, wrote a Jewish History, and if the mir- 
acles of Christ, His death, and resurrection, had created much 
interest, Justus would probably have alluded to them; but 
Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who read the book, 
tells us that it contained " no mention of the coming of 
Christ, nor of the events concerning Him, nor of the pro- 
digies He wrought." ^ 

The statement in Josephus that Christ rose the third 
day, as had been predicted by the prophets, as also His 
other prodigies, is an interpolation.^ It occurs in the 
middle of a chapter, and has no connexion with the 
context. It is preceded Ijy the account of chastisement 
administered to the Jewish populace by the soldiers of 
the Roman governor, and is followed by an indelicate story 
of a lady whom the priests of Isis sold to a debauchee, and 
persuaded that she was receiving the embraces of the god 
Anubis. 

Two authorities are assumed to establish the truth of 
the Incarnation, if we set miracles and prophecy aside. 
These are the Church and Scripture. 

Properly speaking, Scripture is merely an early expression 
of the belief of the Church, but as it has been by some 

1 Mvp6j3i^\ov, Cod. xxxiii. Rouen, 1653. 
* Antiquities, bk. 18, c. 3. 



THE EVIDENCE 135 



supposed to be a distinct, and even an antagonistic, author- 
ity, we shall consider it separately. 

In the first place, the objections to regarding Scripture 
as an infallible authority are weighty and hardly to be 
evaded. 

1. Scripture makes no claim to be considered as a book. 
It is a fascis, not a rod ; neither does it claim, in whole or 
in part, to be inspired. The writer of the third Gospel 
plainly speaks of his undertaking as suggested by like 
undertakings on tlie part of many others ; he thinks him- 
self justified, as well as they, in " compiling his narrative," 
avara^aa-Oai SiyyrjcrLv, by reason of the opportunities he had, 
referring obviously to human opportunities. He does not 
claim to be inspired, to have had a revelation, nor even a 
knowledoe of the facts at first hand. 

There is one passage which is repeatedly quoted as con- 
clusive for Bible authority, and that is 2 Tim. iii. 16, " All 
scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable 
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction," &c. But the 
important word in this sentence, on which the proof depends, 
is by no means certain. It rests on the authority of some 
MSS. codices, but not on all ; and the real meaning of 
the passage seems to be " every sacred writing given by 
inspiration of God is profitable for teaching," &c., and we 
are left in the dark as to what writings are inspired, and as 
to the extent to which inspiration goes. We call Dante 
and Shakespeare inspired, and their writings may be also 
applied with authority to teaching, reproof and correction, 
if that text be our sole guide. 

If the Scriptural Infallibility doctrine be true, the Bible 
ought to contain an inspired catalogue of the sacred writ- 
ings, and a statement of the limits by which inspiration was 
bounded. An authorized copy ought also to have been 



136 CHRISTIANITY 



preserved, that all iniglit know exactly what the words 
are of which Holy Scripture consists. 

But, on the contrary, the canon of Scripture was not 
settled till late ; some of the works now contained within 
its covers were rejected by some Churches and received by 
others, and certain works received by some Churches have 
been cast out of the Canon. On what authority, except 
that of the printer, do men claim inspiration for " Solomon's 
Song " and refuse it to the " Book of Wisdom ? " Why are 
the Epistles of S. Paul quoted as canonical and the Epistle 
of his fellow-labourer S. Barnabas rejected ? 

There is not extant a single original of any of the Old 
or New Testament writings. We possess copies only, made 
by men who had no claims to infallibility, which do not 
agree together, and in some places are at variance, so that 
it is impossible to pronounce with certainty what is the 
original and correct text of any book. If the Divine Spirit 
prevented the authors of our Scriptures from falling into 
any error, surely it was leaving the work incomplete, if 
those infallible writings were left to the inaccuracy or care- 
lessness of copyists. It is well known that the Puritan 
divine, Dr. Owen, clung with desperation to the theory of 
the antiquity and inspiration of the Hebrew punctuation 
as the only safeguard for the certainty of the sense. We 
know that in India the most scrupulous care has been 
taken to preserve every word of the Vedas, its true 
signification, and its pronunciation; and treatises, called 
Vedangas, were composed to the number of six to preserve 
the Vedas in all their purity. Of these the first four, 
Seksha (pronunciation), Chhandas (metre), Vyakarana 
(grammar), Nirukta (explanation of words), and the last, 
Kalpa (ceremonial), are the most important. 

Nothing of the sort supplements the Christian Scriptures; 



THE EVIDENCE 137 



but if the infallibilist theory be the true one, some such 
guarantees become morally essential. 

2. What makes this theory more improbable is the fact 
that the majority of quotations in the New Testament vary 
from the Old Testament text. The advocates of plenary 
inspiration attach great importance to the manner in which 
these quotations are made ; the phrases tVa TrXr^pojOrj, " that 
it might be fultilled," K-a^ws yeypa-rat, "as it is written," 
9eos crvrei/, " God Said," and the like, are taken to indicate the 
sanctity and importance of the Old Testament text as the 
word of God. But when we compare the passages quoted 
with the Hebrew text, we find the most striking discrepan- 
cies. Some of the citations are taken from the Septuagint 
translation, and adhere to that version where it is incorrect. 
S. Paul actually changes the meaning of a text and gives 
it as a prophecy: "Wherefore He saith, When He ascended 
up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto 
men," ^ whereas the Hebrew and the LXX. give " received 
gifts for men." 2 The reference " He shall be called a 
Nazarene " is not found in any prophecy ; and S. Jude 
quotes an apocryphal work, the Book of Enoch, as prophetic. 

3. There are also great discrepancies and contradictions 
in accounts of various transactions, in historical details, in 
names, in genealogies, in numbers and in science. So great 
are some of these discrepancies that it is impossible to 
reconcile them so as to satisfy an objector. Take an 
instance ; the accounts given us of the Eesurrection. 

In S. Matthew (x.xvii. 60) the Sepulchre in which the 
body of Christ was laid as a final place of burial, belonged 
to Joseph of Arimathsea, who had caused the new tomb to 
be dug in the rock. In S. John (xix. 41, 42) this new 
sepulchre is not only not indicated as the property of Joseph, 

1 Eph. iv. 8. 2 ps_ ixviiL 19. 



138 CHRISTIANITY 



l)ut it is spoken of as a place of provisional deposit, chosen 
solely because it was near the place of crucifixion, and be- 
cause the Sabbath drew nigh. 

In S. Matthew (xxviii. 1-6) one angel appeared to two 
women in the midst of an earthquake ; he appeared to them 
seated outside the sepulchre on the stone which had closed 
it. In S. ]\Iark (xvi. 1-6) one angel, or rather a young 
man, appears inside the tomb to three women, and there is 
no earthquake. In S. Luke (xxiv. 2-10) two angels appear 
to several women ; and there is no earthquake. In S. John 
(xx. 1, 11-13) the number of angels is two, and there is but 
one woman. 

In S. Mark, the three women, Mary Magdalene being 
one of them, came to the sepulchre with the intention 
of embalming the body of Jesus at the rising of the sun, 
in S. John, on the contrary, it was still dark when the 
Magdalen came to the tomb and found it empty. It is 
impossible to reconcile these accounts by supposing that 
she came twice, for if this latter account describe the first 
visit, she would not have returned later with spices, and 
wondered " who shall roll us away the stone from the door 
of the sepulchre ? " (S. Mark xvi. 3.) 

4. Another difficulty in the way of accepting the Biblical 
Infallibility theory is, that the authorship of the Old Testa- 
ment books, and of some of those in the New Testament is 
doubtful. 

Papias, a companion of S. Polycarp, is the first to speak 
of the Gospels. He says of S. INIatthew that " he compiled 
the sayings of the Lord in the Hebrew language;" and 
of S. INIark, that he "set down the words and deeds of 
Jesus, though not in order," as he heard the preaching of 
the Apostle. Such a description does not tally with either 
of the first two Gospels as we have them. Our first Gospel 



THE EVIDENCE 139 



contains, undoubtedly, a preponderance of discourses of tlie 
Lord, but not discourses exclusively ; and the present Gos- 
pel of S. Mark does not give a continuous history. Papias, 
as recorded by Eusebius, makes no allusion whatever to 
S. Luke or S. John, as authors of our Lord's history. 

Justin Martyr, who wrote between 140 and 160, speaks 
of the Memoirs of the Apostles, and says that they recorded 
everything concerning Jesus Christ, and that these memoirs 
were called Gospels, and when he cites "the Gospel" his 
quotations do not coincide with parallel passages in any of 
those we have. 

The earliest recognition of the Gospel of S. John that we 
know of, is that of the heretic Heracleon [circa a.d. 150), 
who is said by Origen to have written comments upon it. 
Theojihilus of Antioch is the first orthodox writer who spe- 
cifies the Apostle John as the author of the fourth Gospel. 

When we come to examine the Gospels to discover what 
testimony they bear to the Divinity of Christ, we find them 
singularly deficient. The three first have not a passage on 
this point, nor a single word identifying Jesus with God, nor 
calling Him God. He is named "the Son of Man" and "the 
Son of God." The first of these expressions in no way im- 
plies the divinity of Jesus ; it is vised frequently to desig- 
nate the prophets ; and in the Sermon on the Mount all 
those who are peacemakers are called " sons of God," as 
well as all those who do good for evil.'^ The same evan- 
gelist calls God the Father of men,^ and S. Luke calls men 
the sons of the Most High, the sons of God. ^ If the 
Evangelists give men the name of sons of God, it is impos- 
sible to conclude from them that they give that title to 
Christ in any other light. In Exodus (iv. 22) God calls 

1 S. Matt. V. 9, 45, 48. 2 ^-.^^ 25, 26. 3 g. Luke vi. 35, xx. 36. ■ 



I40 CHRISTIANITY 



the people of Israel "His first-born son" (1 Cliron. xvii. 13); 
God, in predicting tlie birth of King Solomon, calls him 
His son ; and in Job (i. 6 ; ii. 1 ; xxxviii. 7) the angels are 
called sons of God. The Bible even gives the name of God 
to created beings ; in Exodus (vii. 1) Moses is called a God 
to Pharaoh; in chap. xxii. 28, the judges are designated as 
gods ; and (Psalm Ixxxii. 1-6) the name of gods is given 
even to those who "judge unjustly and accept the persons 
of the wicked." 

It is therefore C[uite possible that when the Evangelists 
used the expression Son of God in reference to Christ they 
used it with no intention of making Him God. 

There are also numerous texts in the three first evangels 
wiiich seem difficult to reconcile with the idea of His 
Divinity. I need only give references.^ 

On the other liand, the author of the fourth Gospel puts 
forth higher claims for Christ. " In the beginning was the 
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was 
God;"'^ "He made Himself equal with God;"^ "I and 
My Father are one;"* " He that hath seen Me hath seen 
the Father. . . . I am in the Father, and the Father in 
Me."-^ "0 Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, 
with the glory which I had with Thee before the world 
was."*^ "And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My 
Lord and my God."^ The first Epistle of S. John says also 
" We know Him that is true : and we are in Him that is 
true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God 
and eternal life."^ 

1 S. Murk X. 18; S. Luke xviii. 19; S. Matt. xix.l7; xvi. 15, 16; 
S. Mark viii. 29 ; S. Luke ix. 20 ; xxiv. 19 ; S. Matt. xx. 23 ; S. Mark 
x. 40; xiii. 32. 

•^ St. Jolm i. 1. 3 V. 18. ^ X. 30. ^ ^iv. 9, 11. 

« xvii. 5. '■ XX. 28. » 1 John v. 20. 



THE EVIDENCE \\\ 



S. Paul, also, is sufficiently explicit. He speaks of 
" Christ who is over all, God blessed for ever ; "^ he says of 
Him that " He thought it not robbery to be equal with 
God;"^ "By Him were all tilings created, that are in 
heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible — and He 
is before all things, and by him all things consist."^ " In 
Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."'* 
" The glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour 
Jesus Christ."^ 

There are, however, passages in the fourth Gospel and 
in the Epistles of S. Paul, which, I will not say, present 
a different notion of Christ, but which are apparently 
inconsistent with the passages quoted above ; thus, Jesus 
declares that He can do nothing of Himself,'"' that He 
came not to do His own will, but the will of Him that 
sent Him;^ that He speaks nothing of Himself^ In 
chap. viii. 40, He is represented merely as a prophet ; 
" Ye seek to kill Me, a man that hath told you the truth, 
which I have heard of God." When the Jews reproached 
Him with making Himself God, He excused Himself by 
quoting the psalm wdiich "called them gods unto whom 
the word of God came ;"^ and after the Eesurrection He 
speaks of the Father as " jNIy God and your God " when ad- 
dressing the Magdalen. 1" 

S. Paul also presents Jesus not as God, but as sent from 
God ; " the gift of grace is by one man, Jesus Christ ; " ^^ 
'' The head of every man is Christ, — and the head of Christ 
is God."^- " Then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto 
Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all 

1 Eom. ix. 5. - Phil. ii. 6. 3 Col. i. 16, 17. 

4 Col. ii. 9. 5 Tit. ii. 13. « S. John v. 19, 20, 38. 

7 vi. 38. ^ vii. IG, 28. ^ x. 30-36. 

10 XX. 17. " Rom. V. 15. ^"- 1 Cor. xi. 3. 



142 CHRISTIANITY 



in all."i " The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,"^ 
" There is one God, and one Mediator between God and 
man, the man Christ Jesus."" In S. Peter's first sermon, 
recorded in the Acts, Christ is spoken of as " a man, 
approved of God by miracles and wonders and signs which 
God did by Him,"^ AYho was raised up and exalted by 
God. 5 S. Stephen speaks of Him as a "prophet like unto 
Moses," and he calls Him "the Just One."^ At Ctesarea, 
S. Peter addressing himself to Gentiles, speaks in language 
which implies that Jesus was inspired, was an envoy of 
God, but not necessarily God Himself; for he says "God 
was with Him."' " It is He which was ordained of God to 
be the judge of quick and dead."^ 

To resume what has been said, of eight witnesses in the 
New Testament, six, i.e. SS. Matthew, Mark, Luke, James, 
Peter, and Jude do not identify Jesus with God. Three, 
to wdt the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke, have, on 
the contrary, texts which express belief in His humanity 
alone, and S. Luke in the Acts puts similar language into 
the mouth of S. Peter. Two only, SS. John and Paul, 
speak of Jesus as one with God, but even they have 
ambiguous or seemingly contradictory passages. 

So much for Scripture as an infallible authority. To any 
one who already believes in our Lord's Incarnation, the 
passages quoted will not oft'er much difficulty, for the bring- 
ing into prominence of one side of the doctrine is not a 
negation of the other side ; but to one who is simply an 
inquirer groping for an authority which Avill make him 
embrace Christianity instead of Buddhism or Mahomed- 
anism, the Scriptural evidence is by no means conclusive : 

1 1 Cor. XV. 28. 2 Epij j g^ 3 j rpj^ jj^ 5_ 

*Actsii. 22. 5 Acts iii. 13, 15, 22. « vii. 37, 52. 

7 Acts X. 38. 8 X. 42. 



THE EVIDENCE 143 



it fails, on examination, to satisfy tlie demands of ordinary 
scientific reasoning. 

In this is the great weakness of Protestantism. In their 
impatience of the authority of the Church, the reformers 
threw the proof of Christianity on a collection of documents 
bound together; they assumed it to be infallible, and its 
authors to be inspired — a claim not put forth by the authors 
themselves for writings which they never intended to serve 
as demonstrations of the faith. 

The reformers invited to the perusal of these document?, 
urged their careful examination, assured incj^uirers that the 
proof was decisive, and then anathematized all who declared 
that they could not see the proofs, and that the evidence 
produced would not bear the tests of ordinary historical and 
scientific inquiry. " The more Protestantism has been de- 
veloped into its own characteristic propensity," says a writer 
in the Westminster Hevieiv, " the more atheistic is the aspect 
of public affairs. It has not known at all better than its 
Eomish rival how to combine religious earnestness with 
tolerant justice, and has become just only by passing into 
indifference to religion. Its divines often attack Eomanism 
by insisting on the vast spread of unbelief within the pale 
of that Church ; while they are astonishingly blind to the 
very same phenomenon within all the Xation«i Protestant 
Churches. This is not a recent fact, as some imagine. 
Indeed, since the Eestoration, it is difficult to name the 
time at which it may reasonably be thought that the 
existing English statesmen had any grave and practical 
belief in the national religion. Montesquieu, who passed 
for a freethinker in France, found in England (about a 
century and a quarter ago) he had far too much religion for 
our great-grandfathers. Equally in the Lutheran Churches 
of Germany and Sweden, also in the Calvinistic Churches 



144 CHRISTIANITY 



of Switzerland and elsewhere, the same phase of events has 
presented itself: the clergy tend either to loseall spiritual char- 
acter, or take refuge in Unitarianism; the laity, in proportion 
to their cultivation, have been prone to entire unbelief." ^ 

Of the second authority for the Incarnation, i.e. the 
Church, I shall have to speak in another chapter; as evi- 
dence to tlie Incarnation it is not worth much, as evidence, 
that is, which is logically convincing, whatever may be its 
moral cogency to enchain belief. 

The narrative of the Gospels may carry conviction to 
some minds, the testimony of the Church may take hold of 
and satisfy others, but if so, Avhat is it that really convinces ? 
It is the fact, or, if the expression be preferred, the idea 
of the Incarnation commending itself to the soul of man. 
That idea, looking upon the soul of man, bears its own 
guarantee with it, and thus, and thus only, through the head 
or through the heart, enchains consent. 

What then to every Christian is the evidence for the 
Incarnation ? It is not Scripture, it is not the Church, it is 
not history, prophecy or miracle. It is his own nature 
crying out to see God face to face and live. 

By the evidence of man's own nature I mean this : — 

If I find that such an union of Divinity with humanity 
is necessary to me, that my nature may find its complete 
religious satisfaction ; 

If I find that such a dogma alone supplies an adequate 
basis for morals ; 

That such a dogma alone establishes the rights of man 
on a secure foundation ; 

That such a dogma alone enables man to distinguish 
between Authority and Force ; 

^ Kew Series, vol.xiii. p. 13?. 



THE EVIDENCE 



145 



That such a dogma can alone conciliate my double 
nature, rational and sentimental, and my double duties, 
egoistic and altruistic ; 

That such a dogma alone supplies an adec^uate incentive 
to progress ; 

Then the conviction to my mind becomes a certainty. 

These are points which cannot be crushed into one 
chaptei', but will be worked out in the sequel. 

It is on points of this nature that conviction must be 
formed, and then a place for authority will be found. Con- 
viction is never the correlative of authority, whether lodged 
in a book or a church. If the mind is to be convinced it 
must be by a process independent of all compulsion. As 
religion is personal, and not between man and man ; it must 
spring up from a root within man's own breast ; it is not 
like the bind- weed trailing over every plant, strangling all 
and rooted in none. 

' ' Trust tlie spirit, 
As sovran Nature does, to make the form ; 
For otherwise, we only imprison spirit, 
And not embody. Iwward evermore, 
To outward.'" 

We believe on the testimony of authority after we have 
assured ourselves of the trustworthiness of authority; 
measuring authority by the standard of our personal con- 
victions. Our convictions are to us absolute truth ; they 
are purely our own. Just as every man must see for him- 
self, so every man must believe for himself. Acceptation 
of truth is a purely personal, individual act. Our convic- 
tions are the facts assured to us on the testimony of our 
own nature, our own senses, or our own reason. We may 
believe that there are other facts of which we are not our- 
selves cognizant, and these we believe on authority. But such 

K 



146 CHRISTIANITY 

beliefs must succeed convictions ; tliey are the stones laid 
upon the foundations. Consequently, those who attempt 
to make Bible or Church authority the starting-point of 
religion fail inevitably. Bible authority and Church author- 
ity may assist in universalizing our belief, but they cannot 
strike in us the spark of conviction. 

The Bible has its place and its authority, as we shall see 
presently; and in its place it is unassailable, and its 
authority is overpoM^ering. As a vehicle for enlightenment 
and for enlargement of the sympathies, it has perhaps the 
highest place and is of the truest service. 

" Such a position and agency alike the constitution and 
requirements of man and its own nature assign to it. It 
claims an oracular character, no more than the freedom of 
our souls could admit such a claim. It nowhere assumes 
to be an infalliljle canon, but line upon line would teach us 
otherwise. It has neither the subject-matter, nor the tone 
and form of an inflexible standard and absolute guide. 
Much the greater portion of it could not by any exercise 
of ingenuity be represented, or misrepresented, as a fixed 
stereotyped pattern, after which to conform human life. A 
large portion is devoted to the history of a marvellously 
privileged, but withal a very wicked nation. It contains 
the narrative of the lives, the doings and sayings, the 
thoughts and utterances of men of like passions as our- 
selves ; and of one Life ' in all things made like unto His 
brethren,' yet ' without sin ; ' but even this only as seen 
through the vision of men themselves sinful. It reveals a 
centre Life, the wonder and the joy of ages — One who 
spake, indeed, with authority, yet appealed ever to the 
latent life and suppressed law — of which He Himself -was 
tlie hidden Head and Fountain — that yet lingered within 
the breasts of those about Him, making them still human. 



THE EVIDENCE 147 



But these features, which as much disqualify it from being 
an infallible rule, as such a rule is unnecessary and undesir- 
able, in nowise render it less adapted to the uses for which 
it is required and intended. Quite the contrary. The life- 
law, overborne and silenced, cannot be stimulated and 
roused to self-assertion by a mere rule, however perfect, but 
only by the pleadings of the same law, working freely in a 
corresponding sphere ; and this is what the Bible, as being 
the words of ' holy men of old, who S2:)ake moved by the 
Holy Ghost,' displays to us." ^ 

So also has the Church its place and its authority. It is 
not the place or authority of Church or Bible to strangle 
reason, defy criticism, and fetter inquir}'^, for reason is a 
faculty given to man by God for the purpose of criticising, 
and thereby distinguishing error, so that he may reject it ; 
and of inquiring, so that he may find truth under the veil 
which ignorance or error has cast over it. 

The place of the Church is to declare authoritatively to 
every man that his own partial view and individual judg- 
ment are not the whole truth, and the complete measure of 
truth, but that the whole truth is the syncretism of all 
partial aspects. 



^ Westminster Keview, N". S. vol. xvi. pp. 422, 423. 



148 CHRISTIANITY 



CHAPTEE X 

CATHOLICISM 

'0 Tov GeoC 7a/) luos I?7iToPs X/DtcTos 6 6^ i'/aTj' 01 Tj/xuiv KripvxOels, oiiK iy^vero 
Nai /cat Oi), dXXa Nai iv avTcf yeyovev. — 2 Cor. i. 19. 

Catholicism tlie religion of inclusion — a consequence of the Incarnation — 
The conciliation of Reason and Faith — of Individualism and Solidarity 
— The conciliation of all philosophies — of all Religions — of Paganism — 
of Sectarianism — Catholicism demands universal toleration, its opposite 
is intolerance and persecution. 

/CATHOLICISM is, as its name implies, that wliicli is nni- 
^ versal, inclusive (/<a6'oAiKos), and is opposed to that 
which is particular and exclusive. 

A more appropriate name could not have been chosen 
for a religion which, recognizing an incarnate God as the 
universal conciliator, comprehends in itself, divested of their 
negations, all that is positive, and therefore true, in every 
religion, past, present and future. 

If the hypothesis of the Incarnation be granted, as I have 
already laid down, this universalization of all faiths and 
philosoj)hies follows as a logical consequence. Catholicism 
is therefore necessarily the synthesis, in its universal and 
indivisible unity, of all fragmentary truths contained in 
every philosopheme and religion, theory and rite, hitherto 
opposed ; of all the thoughts, wills, and sentiments of the 



CA THOLICISM 149 



human race, thus harmonizing man's nature within himself, 
where hitherto there was antagonism ; uniting all men, one 
with another, where there was discord ; and attaching all 
humanity to God. 

It holds together indivisibly all aspects of the many-faced 
individual and collective life of mankind by its Ideal, who, 
being simultaneously love, knowledge, and activity, responds 
at once to all the faculties and all the harmonies of the heart, 
the reason and the will, concluding all in infinite charity, 
absolute verity, and supreme happiness. 

In this chapter I propose to consider the conciliation by 
the Ideal of all those antinomies I have signalized in a 
former chapter, and that conciliation I call Catholicism. 

In the first place, then, we will consider the unification 
of the Eational and Sentimental antinomy, of Individualism 
and Solidarity. 

" God," said Plato, " has given us two wings to raise us to 
Him, love and reason." Their hymen is accomplished in 
the Ideal. 

" To know God is to love Him," said one saint. " To 
love God is to know Him," observed another. Thus, the 
unity of science and charity reveals itself to the soul. 

Love is the sense of the universal and indefinable, and 
reason is that of the particular and defined. The incarnate 
Word, being absolute reason and love, manifests His nature 
to us through tlie two faculties which constitute us. The per- 
fect conception of the Ideal implies the simultaneous action 
of heart and head, the first conceiving Him as infinite love, 
in order that He may become for the second absolute verity, 
so that reason may be the intelligible form of univ^ersal 
charity, and love may be the living sentiment of infinite in- 
telligence. 



ISO CHRISTIANITY 



Every one of us has in himself a twofold revelation ; every 
creature is, as the apostle says, the manifestation of a divine 
perfection.^ This revelation, or determination of the Deity 
in ourselves develops itself in sentiments, thoughts, and 
desires. But this personal revelation in each is also relative 
to all, and each revelation may become the property of all 
by communication, so that all these sentiments may be 
united, all these thoughts may be added together, all these 
wills may move in concert. Man being both an individual 
and a social being, feels, thinks, and wills for himself, and 
also for society. His feelings, thoughts, and will act 
outwards upon a wide circle, and set other feelings, thoughts, 
and wills in motion, whilst those of other men excite and 
stimulate his own. 

If God, placing the attributes of each man under the seal of 
an eternal limit, had said to him, " Thus far shalt thou go, and 
no further," each man, enclosed within this insurmountable 
barrier, might have questioned the Divine Justice for hav- 
ing refused to him what was given to another. But God 
has, on the contrary, made the talents of one to be the 
property of all, so that "none of us liveth or dietli to 
himself,"" and has given to all an unlimited power of ac- 
quisition, for the purpose of perpetually assimilating the 
gifts of others. 

Humanity is not like a bundle of sticks, a cluster of 
hardly outlined microcosms, nor an arithmetical addition of 
integers, but is a body constituted, after the fashion of the 
human body, of adapted members, living, throbbing and 
moving as one. 

The charge has been brought against Christianity that it 
is a religion of selfishness or of unbalanced individualism, 
1 Rom. i. 20. 2 Rom. xiv. 7. 



CATHOLICISM 151 



as its aims are the salvation of the individual soul. This 
is true and not true. Inasmuch as man has personality 
he must be more or less selfish in his interests ; inasmuch 
as he is a social being, he must be more or less altruistic. 
Christianity sets before man both objects, the salvation of 
himself and the salvation of the race, but it blends the one 
with the other so indissolubly that it is impossible to dis- 
tinguish the act of religious self-seeking from the act of re- 
ligious self-forgetfulness. The life of the Christian Ideal 
was one of complete self-renunciation, yet, as S. Paul says, 
it was for the joy set before Him that He endured the cross, 
despising the shame. The well-being of one depends more 
or less on the well-being of all, and the advantage of one is 
the advantage of all. As a mediaeval ^^liter puts it : " In 
a well-ordered house, all share in the work of all, and in 
the profit of all. If the brother works abroad, the sister 
attends to the house at home. One brings money in, another 
lays it out in household matters, and the work of each ad- 
vantages the other, and the gain of one benefits all. So is 
it in the house of Christ. One reads, another fasts ; one 
prays, another gives alms, and another again suffers corporal 
or spiritual infirmities. Does each labour and endure for 
himself alone ? By no means. You profit by my reading, 
I by your fasting, one receives advantage by the almsgiving 
of another, and the suffering of one is profitable for example 
to the other. I am a partaker in the treasure of my brother. 
We partake in the prayers and merits of all — of all in earth 
and all in heaven, of those whose prayers are clogged with 
human infirmity here, and of those who are made perfect 
in the presence of God. This is a great solace to the faith- 
ful. For if any one is detained through infirmity, or has 
no leisure for pious acts and prayers, he may remember the 
many sacrifices offered in the Church, and say, ' I am a 



CHRISTIANITY 



companion (partaker) of all tliem that fear Thee and keep 
Thy commandments " (Ps. cxix. 63). By the union of love 
and pious intent you partake in the good things of others. 
If weak in body, or otherwise hindered in austerities, think 
of the many Keligious in fastings, sackcloth and ashes. If 
weak in soul, think of the many who have waxed valiant in 
fight, and have conquered. For the Church is the Com- 
munion of Saints, in which all good things are common to 
all, not one special faith for the rich and another for the 
pour, one hope for the prince and another for the j)eople ; 
but, as in a city all share in the same rights of citizenship, in 
the same streets, the protection of the same walls, the same 
fountains, walks, and markets, so is it with us. And he 
who builds a beautifid house, builds for the whole city to 
admire, and he who erects a conduit sets it up for the ad- 
vantage of all the citizens." 1 

God, the principle and the end of all, gives Himself to 
all to multiply indefinitely His gifts one by the other, and 
to distribute them, thus inimitably augmented, through each 
to all. Associated in this work of universal solidarity, we 
reunite all the scattered fragments of God's perfection mani- 
fested in ourselves. 

ISIan cannot possibly be absolute, he is altogether partial 
and relative. The good, the beautiful, and the true to one 
man may be very different from the good, the beautiful, 
and the true to another man, but the aspect seen by each 
man is an aspect of the Absolute. One aspect alone, if 
insisted on to the negation and exclusion of other aspects, 
is erroneous — erroneous inasmuch as it negatives and 
excludes, but in itself it is true. To recompose the whole 
body of truth, it is necessary to accept every aspect, and to 
weave them together into an indissoluble unity. 

1 Marchantii Hortus Pastonuu. Paris, 1628. 



CATHOLICISM i53 



Individuality, the more empliasized it is, tlie better it is 
for the social welfare ; for individuality is the perfecting 
of a member of the whole body. Of course, if one be empha- 
sized at the expense of others, there is wrong done to, and 
injury sustained by, the body; but the perfection of soli- 
darity will consist in the simultaneous development to 
its highest pitch of the individuality of every member of 
society. 

Individuality consists in the will acting with unrestrained 
energy in the prosecution of the determinations of the indi- 
vidual sense of the good, the true, and the beautiful ; and as 
the good, the true, and the beautiful have as many aspects 
as there are men to observe them, and as the welfare of 
society consists in the accumulation and unification of all 
these aspects, it follows that the development of individu- 
ality and the perfection of solidarity are indissolubly united, 
and that the encouragement of individuality in no way 
derogates from the social weal. Consequently the prosecu- 
tion of a selfish end, as men call that held up to the Chris- 
tian, is not detrimental to the general well-being ; and, on 
the other hand, it has been made abundantly evident by 
experience that self-renunciation for the general welfare is 
calculated to bring individuality to a very exalted position 
of perfection and dignity. 

Secondly, Catholicism is the harmonization of all ideas, 
of all the doctrines which form the different philosophic 
systems of antiquity and of modern times. 

Christ, according to the Catholic hypothesis, is the In- 
carnate Reason, and all human reasons are radiations from 
Himself " He is," says Justin Martyr, " the Sovereign 
Eeason of whom the whole human race participates. All 
those who have lived conformably to a right reason, have 



154 CHRISTIANITY 



been Christians.'" Therefore, adds S. Augustine, Christ 
is present wherever there is truth, wisdom, and justice, in 
East as in the West, among the infidels as among the faith- 
fid." " Do you not know," said Malebranche, " that reason 
itself is incarnate to be at the disposal of all men, to strike 
the eyes and ears of those who can neither see nor hear 
except through their senses ? — Eeason, by becoming in- 
carnate, has not changed its nature in any way, nor lost its 
power. It is immutable and. necessary : it, alone, is the in- 
violable law of minds." * 

The Word made flesh, the Divine Eeason incarnate, is 
then to be considered both as the exterior doctor, historical 
and visible, and also as the interior doctor, spiritual and in- 
visible, " the light that ligiiteneth every man that cometh 
into the world ;"^ or to use the words of S. Bonaventura, 
" He is the interior teacher, and one can know no truth 
except by Him who speaks, not vocally as we do, but by an 
interior illumination. He is Himself in our souls, and He 
diffuses the light of true and living ideas over all the ab- 
stract and dark ideas of our intellect."'' 

Such is the doctrine of all the Fathers ; — Christ is at once 
an object of faith and of reason, of religion and of philosophy. 
He, as immutable and veritable Truth, concretes and syn- 
thesizes and vivifies every partial and contingent verity; 
and those who deny Him, separate truths, and fall in con- 
sequence into error. " They have not one idea," says Cha- 
teaubriand, "which we do not possess, but they cannot follow 
us into the regions of evangelical light. It is not that our 
siglit is limited, it is that theirs is partial. We perceive all 

^ Apolog. 1 and 2. 

'"' In Joan. Evan. c. 8. tr. 35. 

3 Vme. Entretien, 9, and Traite de Morale, ii. c. 4. 

4 S. John i. 9. s Lumen Ecclesise, vol. i. p. 42. 



CATHOLICISM 155 



that they perceive, but they do not see all that we see." " That 
is truly and properly Catholic, as the force and significance 
of the name declare, which truly comprehends all univer- 
sally," said S. Vincent of Lerins. That which is truly Catholic 
is not the profession of one doctrine to the exclusion of other 
doctrines, but is the co-ordination of all ideas, of all possible 
doctrines, maintained invariably undivided in the infinite 
conception of Christ, which includes all without excluding 
any, and adopts all into an unity wdiich forms of them an 
homogeneous and complete whole. Outside Catholic unity 
there can be only negation and exclusion, which, breaking the 
bond of this spiritual community, particularizes that which 
Catholicism had universalized, decomposes that which it had 
combined, and reproduces thus the same ideas in broken 
particles, in torn shreds, but with all their relations dis- 
placed or suppressed, and becomes thereby no longer abso- 
lute verity, but a selection of relative ideas, incomplete be- 
cause all ideas are not admitted, and false because all those 
which are excluded are denied. 

S. Clement of Alexandria, starting from the principle 
that the Catholic Faith is the syncretism of all practical 
verities professed before and after Christ's advent, applied 
this principle to that wdiich preceded His coming, and 
shewed that tlie Mosaic law and the Greek philosophy 
were to Christianity wdiat partial verities are to the union 
of all verities. On this account he founded an exhortation 
to the Greeks to leave their doubt and to embrace a Gospel 
which contained all their philosophies and blended them 
into one with all the verities of Mosaism. 

The same idea is thus expressed by Grotius in his book 
on the verity of the Christian Eeligion: "Among the 
heathen there were not wanting men, who taught singly 
those things which the Christian religion holds univer- 



1 5 6 CHRISTIANITY 



sally." ^ And the Catechism of the Council of Trent teaches 
the same doctrine. 

Let us put what has been said in a simple form perfectly 
intelligible to all. 

Philosophy is spiritualistic or sensational. Wliat does 
the Cartesian doctrine affirm ? That the consciousness of 
man is the evidence of Truth. What does the sensationalist 
affirm ? that the evidence of Truth is derived through the 
senses. Catholicism affirms both these premisses. 

Does the spiritualist deny that the senses convey evidence 
of reality ? In that denial he ceases to be Catholic. 

Does the sensationalist deny the personal consciousness 
to be the criterium of verity ? In that denial he ceases to 
be Catholic. 

The Pantheist affirms that God is in Nature, that He is 
the ground, the force of nature. It is the fulness of God 
which flows into the crystal of the rock, the juices of the 
plant and the life of the animal. The fern, rustling in tlie 
forest glade, springs out of God, deriving, its greenness and 
its beauty from Him. The first bud of spring and the 
last rose of summer, the glittering April shower and the 
falling snowflakes of December, the sun tliat glows in the 
blue sky and the harvest-moon that silvers o'er the farmer's 
shocks, the dove that complains among the stonepines, the 
lark that twitters on high, are all expressions of God. The 
violet blooms of God, the rose blushes Avith His indwellincr 
presence, the lily is redolent with His fragrance. The 
Catholic accepts all this ; to him also nature is the radiation 
of the perfections of God, is the manifestation of God to 
man. But he does not halt at that statement, rest satisfied 
in that feeling. He supplements it with a belief in a per- 
sonal God. The Pantheist, by denying the personality of 

^ De Veritate Relis- Clir. lib. i. c. x. note. 



CATHOLICISM 157 



God, is driven to deny Him intelligence, and free-will to 
man. Pantheism in what it affirms is Catholic, in what it 
denies is error. 

Deism affirms the existence of God apart from nature, 
outside of it. It sees in creation not the presence of an 
immanent God, but of One who called it into being, stamped 
it with His seal and left it to run its course. We say that 
two things are distinct when we can form a distinct idea of 
each by itself, without however imagining that they can 
subsist in this isolation ; and we say that two things are 
separable, when we can conceive them as existing and sub- 
sisting in isolation. Thus, the idea of a clock is distinct 
and inseparable from the mind of the maker, but the clock 
itself is distinct and separate. This world is either the idea 
or it is the workmanship of God. If we say tliat it is the 
idea, — then we are Pantheists, if we say that it is the work, 
then we are Deists. 

Not only is the world the clock, but we are all clocks, 
says the Deist. We cannot exist without God, who is our 
cause, but we exist outside of Him, and are separate and 
distinct from Him, for we are free and can resist Him. 

The Deist is Catholic when he affirms the creation of the 
world by God, and the existence of free-will, but when he 
denies the immanence of God in creation, he falls into 
negation, which is error. 

But how, it may be asked, can two such opposite theories 
as Pantheism and Deism be reconciled, — they mutually ex- 
clude one another ? I may not be able to explain how they 
are conciliable, but I boldly affirm that each is simultane- 
ously true, and that each must be true, for each is an 
inexorably logical conclusion, and each is a positive con- 
clusion, and all positive conclusions must be true if Christ 
be the Ideal and the focus of all truths. 



158 CHRISTIANITY 



Eationalism makes knowledge the only basis of certainty, 
it affirms that the intellect of man is capable of ordering 
and weighing evidence, of discriminating between what is 
faulty and worthless, and what is valuable and sound. By 
means of reason he arrives at absolute certainty. This the 
Catholic allows readily, he adds also that there is another 
means of attaining certainty — Feeling or sentiment. 
This the Eationalist denies, — a negation again, wliich is 
error. 

The ]\Iaterialist points out that every process of thought 
is due to action of a material organ, and that thought is the 
corrosion of the vascular neurine in the brain. Thought is 
a mode of force. Certain constituents are combined in 
the brain, and these are held together by chemical cohesion. 
A reaction takes place, the cohesive force is liberated and 
takes the shape of an idea ; man acts ujDon the idea and re- 
solves it into nmscular force, which impresses itself on 
materials outside of him, and is produced from change to 
change for ever. 

The Catliolic accepts this, but he adds, there is a super- 
natural order of which the Materialist takes no account, 
which in fact he denies, and in that denial falls off from 
Catholic unity and the recognition of the Absolute. He 
asserts one truth, Ijut by ignoring or refusing to admit the 
opposite truth falls into error. 

What is Atheism ? In itself nothing ; — a denial of a 
positive idea. Every negation involves a position. And 
if every positive idea be a reality, a negation is nothing. 

Secondly ; Catholicism is the fusion into one of all re- 
ligions. I shall have more to say in the sequel on the 
satisfaction of the religious instincts by Christianity, and I 
will here deal but generally with the subject. 



CATHOLICISM 159 



Every religion is the expression of a want of man's 
spiritual nature, however uncouth or exaggerated may be 
the form it assumes. This uncouthness or exaggeration is 
due to negation of correlative wants. The want itself is 
the strain after a truth, the hunger of the spiritual nature. 
The Incarnation assumes to satisfy every one of these wants, 
and therefore must become a web, of which all philosophies 
are the warp, and all religions are the woof. 

"As there are two natures in Christ," says the Abbe 
Gabriel, in a very remarkable book which has been approved 
at Piome, "there must be in Christianity two elements; 
1st, a common, universal, infinite element, like the divine 
natm-e ;- — this is what the apostle calls ' the Spirit,' and the 
Catechism of the Council of Trent calls ' the soul of the 
Church,' and 2nd, a finite, human and progressive element, 
like human nature : — this is ^^'llat the apostle calls ' the 
letter.' But, just as the human nature and the divine nature 
are indissolubly united in the person of the Word, so the 
infinite and the finite elements are indissolubly united in 
Christianity. 

" The letter is all that is defined in Christianity, in its 
morals, its dogmas, its ritual, its constitution and its dis- 
cipline. The soul of the Church is the A^erity in universal 
charity which inspires with spirit and life the outward 
morals, dogmas, ritual, and discipline. One without the 
other is the soul without the body which manifests it, the 
dead letter without the spirit vivifying it. 

"Moreover, as a consequence of the union of the two 
natures in the incarnate Word, the divine nature penetrates 
the human nature with its spirit, and the human nature 
participates also in the prerogatives of the divine life. 
Thenceforth the latter, in itself limited, becomes infinitely 
dilatable and extensible, "\Aithout in any way losing the in- 



i6o CHRISTIANITY 



variable fixity of its positive orientation ; and the spirit, in 
itself indefinable, determines itself without losing anything 
of its character of universality. 

" jNIorality, dogma, ritual, and discipline dilate and de- 
velop in the formulae and their applications, without ceasing 
to l)e immutable in their principles and in their essence. 
And the spirit of infinite charity, which is their life, for- 
mulates itself into graces and gifts midtiplied in the mystery 
of its indivisible iniity. 

" What then does Christianity effect ? It gathers up into 
itself, as a focus, all the truths dispersed in all modes of 
worship, which are so many successive steps measuring the 
];)rogress or decay of man in his victory over matter, of 
which Catholicism is the complete expression. The Word, 
beinsf the union of the finite with the infinite, resumes in 
its universal conception all the religious beliefs and philo- 
sophies in whatsoever of them is true, and is therefore 
destined to unite all verities in universal charity which is 
its principle, its end, and its law. 

" The Church did not begin at Bethlehem, but dates from 
the first man, or rather, eternal in its dogmas, in its life, 
it was before all ages. It was the Word who illumined 
Adam and his descendants, the patriarchs before and after 
the deluge, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, all the 
prophets, and the Hebrew people. They w^ere all members 
of the Church. Nay, more ; all the verities, so numerous, 
scattered among the heathen, were but radiations of this 
divine Word. All the just of paganism, in as far as they 
professed these verities, were members therefore of the 
Church. Consequently, the Church sums up in herself all 
the verities before as Avell as after the preaching of the 
Gospel. 

" Always new, though some six thousand years old, the 



CATHOLICISM i6i 



Cliurcli, since the Tncariiation, is nothing other than the 
Word Himself, in whom is all Truth. Thiis, the verities 
which can be met with in all sects, for the last two thou- 
sand years, are radiations of the Word. There also, the 
Church is, where a living verity is found, and all those who 
with good faith follow the law which they have known or 
or have been able to know, are members of the body of 
Christ, or of His Church. 

"At bottom, all the difference between Catholics and 
sectarians may be resumed in this : — the former profess the 
universal unity of all verities wherever dispersed, confessing 
the indivisibility of the Word and of the imiversal Church ; 
the latter, on the contrary, shatter the unity of Christ, by 
following their own peculiar interpretations." ^ 

I'rom this it follows, as an inevitable corollary, that 
toleration is Catholic, that a man who professes himself a 
Christian and is intolerant of the beliefs and worships of 
others, is contradicting the essence of his religion, is violat- 
ing liis profession. " Pax hominibus bonte voluntatis " is 
the moral law of Christianity in its all comprehension, and 
every member of the Church is bound in principle to say of 
himself, that he is 

"intolerant to none, 
Whatever shape the pious rite may bear, 
Ev'n the poor Pagan's homage to the sun 
I would not harshly scorn, lest even there 
I spurn'd some elements of Christian prayer." ^ 

Christianity is, in fact, the reintegration of all scattered 
religious convictions, and this accounts for the adoption by 
the Church of so many usages belonging primarily to pagan- 
ism, and for the doctrines of the Creed resembling in so many 

1 Gabriel : Le Christ et le Monde, Paris, 1863, p. 12-14, 21-26. 

2 Hood : Ode to Eae Wilson. 

L 



i62 CHRISTIANITY 



points tlie traditions of heathendom. In most religions 
we find many of tlie ingredients of Christianity displaced, 
confused and mutilated may be, but certainly present, as, — 
the unity of God, the Trinity, the Incarnation, creation, the 
fall, the immortality of the soul, resurrection, the judgment, 
sacrifice, prayer, baptism and communion. " The use of the 
temple," says M. Gilliot, " of churches dedicated to saints, 
and adorned with branches of trees on certain occasions, 
incense, lamps, tapers, votive offerings made upon conva- 
lescence, holy water, asylum, festivals and ember seasons, 
calendars, processions, the benediction of land, sacerdotal 
vestments, the tonsure, the marriage ring, turning to the 
East, devotion to images ; even, may be, the strains of tlie 
Church, the Kyrie Eleison, — all these customs and many 
others are of oriental origin, sanctified by the adoption of 
the Catholic Church."^ And Le Maistre says: "It may be 
demonstrated that all ancient traditions are true ; and that 
all paganism is but a system of corrupted and displaced 
verities ; and that all that is needed is to wash them, so to 
speak, and to put them in their proper places."^ 

It has been the fashion of Protestants to cast it in the 
teeth of the Eoman Catholics that their ceremonies are 
distinctly traceable to heathenism, but these objectors are 
perhaps unaware that the articles of their belief are also to 
be dedu.ced from Paganism, that the ancient Eg}^3tian, Per- 
sian, and Indian faiths contain nearly all the articles of the 
Apostles' Creed. Worship is the external expression of 
belief; if it 1)e justifiable to hold beliefs of heathenism, it 
is legitimate to use the same methods of giving those beliefs 
utterance. 

Catholicism therefore contains paganism entire, down to 

' Gilliot: L'Orient, rOccideut et le Nouveau-Monde. 
* Soirees de S. Petersbourg, xie. entretien. 



CATHOLICISM 163 



its most adulterated notions, polytheism and idolatry. It 
contains them, as truth contains error ; that is to say hy 
adopting all that is positive in them, and leaving out what- 
ever is negative. Error, as I have already shewn, is 
negation, division introducing antagonism in the bosom of 
verity. What is Polytheism, but division introduced into 
the idea of God ? That which is affirmative in it is the idea 
of God, and that Christianity embraces. It only rejects 
that which is, in itself, nothing, the negation which breaks 
up the unity of this indivisible verity. 

What, again, is idolatry in all its forms, but division 
pluralizing unity, and transporting the idea of God and His 
worship from the infinite to the finite, and therefore a 
negation of the Absolute by the erection of a relative 
object into the Absolute, an opposition of the finite to 
the infinite ? That which is positive in idolatry, the 
idea of worship due to God, Catholicism has absorbed and 
assimilated, rejecting only the negation which cuts up the 
indivisible unity of this eternal verity. " Behold then ! " 
exclaimed Bossuet, " Pieligion is always uniform, or rather, 
it is always the same from the beginning of the world. 

" What a consolation for the children of God ! the Catho- 
lic Church unites within herself all the authority of past 
ages, and all the ancient traditions of the human race from 
its origin." ^ 

In like manner Catholicism contains all the positive 
ideas enunciated by the sects. If, from the standpoint of 
the Ideal, nothing exists, and nothing can exist, outside of 
Catholicism, if it is of the essence of Catholicism to be all 
that is and all that can be, that is to say, to comprehend in 
itself all that man can love, know and practise, Catholicism 
must contain everything that heretical and schismatical 

^ Discours sur I'Histoire XJuiverselle, ii. art. i. c. 31. 



i64 CHRISTIANITY 



bodies believe and affirm. It will, however, affirm in totality 
what they affirm in part ; • it will believe all that they admit, 
but it will believe a great deal more besides. 

This fundamental notion of the Ideal of Catholicism has 
been thus expressed by Le Maistre in his ' Letter to a Pro- 
testant Lady : ' — " It is now," he says, " eighteen hundred 
and nine years that a Catholic Church has been in the 
world, and has always believed what it believes now. Your 
doctors will tell you a thousand times that we have in- 
novated ; but if we have innovated, it seems strange that it 
needs such long books to demonstrate it ; whereas to prove 
that you have varied — and you are only of yesterday — no 
trouble is needed. 

" But let us consider an epoch anterior to all the schisms 
that now divide the world. At the commencement of the 
tenth century, there was but one faith in Europe. Con- 
sider this faith as an assemblage of jDositive dogmas : — the 
Unity of God, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Eeal Pre- 
sence, &c. ; and to simplify our idea, let us suppose the 
number of positive dogmas to amoimt to fifty. The Greek 
Church, having denied the procession of the Holy Ghost 
and the Supremacy of the Pope,i has therefore only forty- 
eight points of belief; thus, you see, we believe all that 
she believes, although she denies two things that we 
hold. Your sixteenth century sects pushed matters much 
further and denied a host of other dogmas; but those 
which they retained are common to us. Finally, the 
Catholic religion includes all that the sects believe, — this 
is incontestable. 

" The sects, be they what they may, are not religions, they 

^ I shall shew in another chapter that this is a mistake of Le Maistre, 
the dogma of the Supremacy of the Pope is a Negation, not a Positive 
assertion ; it is a negation of the efiual authority of others. 



CATHOLICISM 165 



are negations, that is to say, tliey are nothing in themselves, 
for directly they affirm anything they are Catholic. 

" It follows as a consequence of the most perfect certainty, 
that the Catholic who passes into a sect, apostatizes verit- 
ably, for he changes his belief, by denying to-day what he 
believed yesterday : but the sectary who passes into the 
Church abdicates no dogma, he denies nothing that he 
believed ; on tlie contrary, he begins to believe what pre- 
viously he had denied. 

" He that passes out of a Christian sect into the Mother 
Church is not required to renounce any dogma, but only 
to avow that beside the dogmas which he believed, and 
which we believe every whit as truly as he, there are other 
verities of which lie was ignorant, but which nevertheless 
exist." 

Let us illustrate this truth in the same way that we 
illustrated it in reference to philosophy. 

Catholicism proclaims the union of the divine and 
htiman natures in Christ. Arianism appeared, and, aban- 
doning more or less completely the first of these two terms, 
it reproduced the second alone. "What did Arianism affirm ? 
The humanity of Christ. Catholicism equally affirms this, 
it believes all that Arianism believed. AVhat did Arianism 
add to that article of faith ? A negation of the first term, 
i.e. — Nothing. 

Catholicism proclaims the co-existence of grace and free- 
will, that is to say of divine and human action, the first the 
initiative of the second, as the Increate is necessarily the 
origin of the create. Pelagianism started up and left,.on 
one side, more or less formally, tlie first of these two terms, 
and reproduced the second alone. What did it affirm ?. 
The existence of human liberty. Catholicism had affirmed 
it long before and believed in all that Pelagianism held. 



1 66 CHRISTIANITY 



What then did Pehigiaiiism add to this article of belief ? 
A negation of the first term, i.e. — Nothing. 

Catholicism proclaims the double necessity of faith and 
good works. Luther arose, and omitting the second of these 
two points, admitted the former alone. What did he 
affirm ? The necessity of faith. Catholicism has insisted 
on this with unchanging voice. What did Luther add ? 
A negation of the second point, i.e. — Nothing. 

Finally Catholicism proclaims the Sacraments, the Euchar- 
istic Sacrifice, the Keal Presence, &c. Protestants reject 
these ; in other terms they substitute for them simple nega- 
tions, which are nothing. 

As every heretical or schismatical sect retains this or 
that verity which suits it, to the exclusion of other truths, 
and as this process takes place from a thousand different 
points of view, it is sufficient to add together the articles 
separately admitted by these communions, mutually antago- 
nistic, to arrive at the sum of all Catholic verities. 

Also, it is sufficient to strike out the points which, each 
rejects, or to subtract them from the total, to arrive at 
zero, and thus to shew that there is no one phase of truth 
which they do not deny. 

In the first case they conclude directly for Catholicism, 
which is the entirety of which they are the fragments, in 
the second they conclude indirectly, by shewing that out- 
side of Catholicism is nothing but a process of disinte- 
gration of all belief. 



PROTESTANTISM 167 



CHAPTEE XI 

PEOTESTANTISM 
MephistOPHeles : " The spirit I that evermore divides." — Goethe's " Faust." 

The affirmation of self and of God two duties — Mediaeval Catholicism 
affirmed God biit neglected the affirmation of self — Protestantism the 
affirmation of self — Division and opposition the source of all misery and 
error — -Distinction not division — Christian ethics consist in the affirma- 
tion of distinctions without division and opposition — The distinction of 
God and His relations by meditation, prayer, and worship — Luther de- 
nied these modes of affirming God — The affirmation of ourselves depends 
on our affirmation of God — Immorality the division between higher and 
lower natures — Duty to our neighbours consists in recognition of their 
rights and non-interference with their liberties — The negation of moral 
duty by Luther — He was disposed to sanction adultery — The evil of 
opposing religion to morality — Calvin denied free-will and therefore 
denied duty — The reformers denied the holiness of God — The sj'stem of 
negation and division carried on — Deification of negation — Opposition 
of the Church to God — Comte — Neo-Hegelian opposition of man to 
man — and negation of the Absolute — Subjective Christ opposed to his- 
torical Christ — and negation of the reality of the personal Christ — The 
Protestant spirit one of universal negation and opposition — it has op- 
posed all truths, religious, and philosophies, scientific and sesthetical. 

CEEATION is the manifestation of Love, the Incarnation 
is the perfection of that manifestation, tlie linlc be- 
tween God and man is therefore love. 

Man's function being to affirm himself and to affirm God, 
love and reason have in him their proper offices. By reason 



i68 CHRISTIANITY 



he asserts his own individuality, by love he declares God 
and maintains his connexion with Him, and through Him 
with all other men. 

The exaggeration of love is the confusion of relations, the 
negation of diversity. 

The exaggeration of reason is the opposition of relations, 
the negation of unity. 

The rock on which Eoman Catholicism has struck has 
been the exaggeration of love. Protestantism has gone to 
pieces on the negation of unity. 

In its concentration of attention on God, in its passionate 
devotion to Him, in its reiteration of His existence, as all in 
all, attesting Him in humanity as the basis of charity, in science 
as the basis of truth, in art as tlie Ideal of perfect beauty, 
in morals as the source of virtue, Eomanism has exhibited a 
tendency to forget individual man. It has liidden each man 
dissolve his personality in God, and disappear as an entity, 
that God may be all in all. " I am all and you are nothing," 
Christ is supposed to have said to S. Catharine of Sienna in 
one of her revelations. That was the practical maxim of 
the ]Media?val Church, — the negation of self before God; 
and this has been the cause of the self-devotion and self- 
sacrifice of so many millions of ecstatics and ascetics. 

In its concentration of attention on self, in its declaration 
of the infallibility of private judgment. Protestantism has 
ended in atheism. It has broken the link connecting man 
Avith man, and the fracture of that link has been the nega- 
tion of the Absolute and the deification by each man of liis 
own opinion. 

If Catholicism be the principle of inclusion, Protestantism 
is the principle of exclusion. The first is the system of 
conciliation of all verities, the second is the opposition of 
all verities to their mutual exclusion. 



PROTESTANTISM 169 

Division, separation and antagonism has been tlie cause 
of all the misery and error the world has known and felt. 
" Every kingxlom divided against itself is brouglit to deso- 
lation ; and every city or house divided against itself shall 
not stand," said our Lord.^ This divine sentence is written 
in letters of blood on every page of history. Those extinct 
nations who have left their mighty ruins to encumber the 
soil at Babylon, Nineveh, Persepolis, Memphis and Eome, 
died through the division of men against men. If we enter 
into the chamber of our souls, we find them a prey to 
troubles, struggles, inconstant desires gnawing at our peace, 
and we find that we p^re in division within ourselves. From 
that internal division, discord has broken out in society, in 
science and in art, in all orders of human activity. Thence 
is it that empires, thrones, peoples and individuals are 
broken and disappear. 

Division is the precursor of death. It begins in man's 
body with a rupture of the unity of operation, its manifesta- 
tion is sickness, its triumph is mortality. It begins in 
man's soul with an opposition of his passions and his 
principles, his love and his reason, it produces moral dis- 
organization and ends in vice. It begins in a nation with 
the conflict of liberty against authority, it causes revolution, 
and it ends in political death, the death caused by a des- 
potism of authority or a despotism of licence. 

Let the difference between division and distinction lie 
clearly apprehended ; for therein the secret lies. Distinction 
is a duty, division is a crime. I cannot realize my liberty 
without distinguishing myself from God and from my 
fellow-men ; but if I oppose myself to God and to my 
fellows, I introduce division. 

Now, the defect of the Eoman Catholic system has been 

1 Matt. xii. 25. 



ijo CHRISTIANITY 



the neglect of distinction, of drawing out man's personality. 
And the defect of the Protestant system is the conversion 
of distinction into division. The former has produced an 
artificial unity, the latter has precipitated mankind into 
universal contradiction. 

The Avhole theory of Christian ethics is an application of 
the law of love as the link, and of reason as the differentiator. 
There are duties owed to God, to one's self, and to other men. 
The duty owed to God is the recognition of Him. 

We recognize God by an act of the wiU, and by an act of 
faith. 

We recognize Him by meditation, prayer, and Avorship. 
By meditation, prayer, and worship we emphasize the person- 
ality of God, and place ourselves face to face with Him, we 
declare that He is, just as when we place ourselves opposite 
the sun we conceive the idea and assert that the sun is. 

Meditation is an abstraction of attention from one's self, to 
fix it entirely on God, it is the will insisting on His reality. 
Prayer is the assertion of the two personalities, the jDerson- 
ality of God and that of the suppliant. It is the affirmation 
of the existence of a link uniting the two individualities. 

Worship is the subjection of the personality of the wor- 
shipper to the object worshipped ; it is therefore the affirma- 
tion of the relations the two personalities bear to one another. 

Consequently Meditation, Prayer, and Worship are three 
duties owed to God by every Christian ; he cannot pre- 
termit one without negativing or ignoring the reality, the 
link, or the relation. The first is an act of faith, the second 
an act of hope, and worship is an act of love. By medita- 
tion he expresses his belief in God, he brings out his vague 
convictions and gives them shape and consistency, by 
prayer he gives voice to his trust in God, and by Avorship 



PRO TES TA NTISM 1 7 1 



he pours forth into the lap of God all the treasures of his 
affection. 

Atheism is the negation of God or of the duty owed 
to God, it is either speculative or practical ; speculative if 
it denies the existence of. God, practical if it denies the re- 
lations. Speculative Atheism is the boldest and most con- 
sistent form of negation, but practical Atheism is the com- 
monest, because many who shrink from denying God 
directly, are ready to deny Him obliquely. 

If meditation be the affirmation of the existence of God — 
and meditation need not be lengthy, one rapid flash of thought 
is sufficient — to neglect it is practically to deny God. 

If prayer be the affirmation of the link between God 
and man, to neglect prayer is to disallow the link ; and 
the link severed, the two personalities are opposed and 
become actively hostile, so tliat the idea of God is destroyed 
or at least is passively ignored. 

If worship be the affirmation of the superiority of God 
to man, of the relation in which man stands to God and 
God to man, the former being the relation of freewill, the 
latter the relation of grace — with the abolition of Avorship 
the relations disappear, and the relations disappearing the 
distinction disappears and man resolves himself into the 
Absolute, so that we have every man proclaiming himself to 
be God, or at least passively regarding himself as infallible. 

These duties to God Luther emphatically denied. He 
said, "When the monks sitting in their cells meditated on 
God and His works, when inflamed with the most ardent 
devotion they bowed the knee, prayed, and contemplated 
heavenly things with so much delight that for much joy 
they shed tears ; — Here was no thought of women nor of 
any other creature, but only of the Creator and His mar- 
vellous works. And yet this thing, most spiritual in the 



172 CHRISTIANITY 



judgment of reason, is according to Panl a work of the 
flesli. Wherefore all such is religious idolatry, and tlie more 
holy and spiritual it is in appearance, so much the more 
pernicious and pestilential it is."^ 

That, practically, prayer and worship have ceased to be 
regarded as duties, or, at all events, are but little professed 
among Protestants, is evident to any one visiting a country 
which handed over its people to the Eeformers. 

Our duties to ourselves flow from our recognition of God, 
For what are the duties we owe to ourselves Init the 
development of our higher powers, the disengagement of 
the I-myself from the constraint of passions, and the dis- 
tinguishing of myself from others by the reahzation of my 
personality. 

Immorality is the negation of my higher nature; the 
affirmation of my auimality alone and its opposition to my 
spirituality to the exclusion of the latter. To live for 
passion is to assert with the Hegelian poet, — 

"Rien n'est vrai que le plaisir,"'"-^ 

that is, pleasure which is sensual. 

Our duties to others are derived from our recognition of 
God. For as our duty to ourselves comes from Him who 
has given us rights, and imposed upon us the obligation to 
accomplish those rights, so are we bound to acknowledge the 
equality of rights and duties in other men, and therefore our 
obligation to recognise them and allow them free scope. 

Interference with the rights of others is preventing the 
growth of other individualities, and is therefore a crime. 

Protestantism has disturbed the moral order by the 

^ Comm. in Gal. cap. v. ver 20. 
^.Herwegh: Ode a rirouie. 



PRO TESTANTISM 



1/ j 



introduction of one or other of two negations ; the Lutheran 
denial of duty, or the Calvinistic denial of free-will. 

The doctrine of duty is the doctrine of moral obligation 
to God, to develop our own natures and to leave others 
unmolested to the free expansion of their natures. 

This doctrine of free-will is the doctrine that God does 
not compel any man but leaves him free, that the link of 
authority between Him and man is moral, not effective. 

By the negation of duty, Luther upset the idea of 
responsibility, and by the negation of free-will Calvin 
brought about the same result. 

To the doctrine of duty, Luther opposed the doctrine 
of justification by faith alone. Catholicism holds botli 
doctrines equally and harmonizes both. But Luther says, 
" In spiritual or divine things which regard the salvation 
of the soul, man is like the pillar of salt into Avhich Lot's 
wife was changed; yea, he is like a trunk and a stone." ^ 
"Thou seest how rich is the Christian; even if he will he 
cannot destroy his salvation by any sins how grievous 
soever, unless he refuse to believe."' "Be thou a sinner 
and sin boldly, but still more boldly believe and rejoice in 
Christ. From Him sin shall not separate us, no, though a 
thousand thousand times in every day we should commit 
fornication or murder."^ " If in faith an adultery were 
committed it were no sin.'"* And Melancthon says, "What- 
ever thou doest, whether thou eatest, drinkest, w^orkest 
with thy hand, teachest, I may add shouldst thou even sin 
therewith, look not to thy works, weigh the promise of 
God."^ Sir William Hamilton quotes the following lior- 



^ Luth. in Gen. c. xix. ^ Liitli. de Captiv. Bab. torn. ii. vol. 264. 

3 Epist. Lutheri, Jena 1556, toni. i. p. 548. * Disput. torn. i. p. 523. 
^ Quoted in Moeler's SymLolism, from -whicli also I have taken the above 
references. 



174 CHRISTIANITY 



rible passages, "God pleasetli you wlien He crowns tlie 
imwortliy, He ought not to displease you when He damns 
the innocent. All things take place by the eternal and 
invariable will of God, who blasts and shatters in pieces 
the freedom of the will. God creates in us the evil in like 
manner as the good. The liigli perfection of faith is to 
Ijelieve that God is just, notwithstanding that by His will 
lie renders us necessarily damnable." " We cannot advise 
that the licence of marrying more wives than one be puhlicly 
introduced. . . . There is nothing unusual in princes 
keeping concubines, and although the lower orders may 
not perceive the excuses of the thing, the more intelligent 
know how to make allowance."^ As Sir William Hamilton 
truly says, " ISTot content to reason against the institution 
(of celibacy) within natural limits and on legitimate grounds, 
his fervour led Luther to deny explicitly, and in every 
relation, the existence of chastity, as a physical impossi- 
bility; led him publicly to preach (and who ever preached 
with the energy of Luther?) incontinence, adultery, incest 
even, as not only allowable, but if practised under the 
prudential regulations which he himself lays down, un- 
objectionable, and even praiseworthy. The epidemic 
spread; a fearful dissolution of manners throughout the 
sphere of the Eeformer's influence was for a season the 
natural result. The ardour of the boisterous Luther in- 
fected, among others, even the ascetic and timorous Me- 
lancthon. 

" Polygamy awaited only the permission of the civil ruler 
to be promulgated as an article of the Eeformation, and 
liad this permission not been significantly refused, it would 
not have been the fault of the fathers of the Eeformation 
if Christian liberty has remained less ample than INIahom- 

1 Edinburgh Review, Oct. 1834. 



PROTESTANTISM 175 

medan licence. As it was, polygamy was never abandoned 
by either Liitlier or Melanctlion as a religious speculation ; 
both, in more than a single instance, accorded the formal 
sanction of their authority to its practice — by those who 
were above the law; and had the civil prudence of the 
imprudent Henry VIII. not restrained him, sensual despot 
as he was, from carrying their spontaneous counsel into 
effect, a plurality of wives might now have been a privilege 
as religiously contended for in England as in Turkey." ^ 
The grossness of Luther's mind cannot be ignored by any 
one who will- take the trouble to read his sermon on matri- 
mony, preached publicly before a large congregation, but 
which it is impossible to quote. 

The same sort of teaching has continued to prevail 
amongst those who have adopted the principles of Luther. 
Man is held to be so utterly corrupt that there is no need 
for him to attempt a reformation of himself, whatever is to 
be done will be done by the free grace of God, or by the 
formation of an internal conviction of the goodness of God. 
Said Bishop Beveridge, " I cannot pray but I sin, I cannot 
hear or preach a sermon but I sin, I cannot give an alms 
or receive the sacrament but I sin, nay, I cannot so much 
as confess my sins but my very confessions are still aggra- 
vations of them." " God justifies the sinner freely and 
imputes to him righteousness without works. . . . The 
justification of a sinner has no connexion with his own 
personal obedience either to the moral or ceremonial law, 
in the act of his justification his own performances are not 
taken into account."^ "It is absurd for the ministers of 

^ Essay on the Scottish Kirk. Sir W. Hamilton bases his opiiiion in 
part on a Disputatio sive consultatio, anno 1531, die 23 Augustii a Pliih 
Melancthone de Digamia Eegis Anglice. 

^ Sermons by Rev. S. Cooper. 



176 CHRISTIANITY 



the Gosj^el to propose to tlie sinner to do liis best by way 
of liealincc the disease of his soul and then to come to the 
Lord Jesus to perfect liis recovery. The only previous 
qualification is to know our misery, and the remedy is x^re- 
pared."^ 

Tracts containing statements like the following are scat- 
tered broadcast over the land: — "The only qualification a 
man has for being saved is liis being a sinner. The one 
thing that gives him a claim upon the Saviour is the 
simple fact that he is a sinner. Dear reader! Take your 
place as a thoroughly bad good-for-nothing sinner, and 
then say, ' Saviour, thou art mine, /or I am a sinner.'"^ 

To the evil of this teaching a Protestant writer bears 
testimony. He believes in Protestantism, but is disturbed 
by seeing how perniciously the popular teaching of justi- 
fication is turned into a negation of morality. " The popery 
of human nature," he wTites, "gladly accepts such views 
of religion as leave men undisturbed in the enjoyment of 
the pleasures of sin for a season. . . . The vast majority 
are \xry willing to be told that right belief will save their 
souls alive. If so, all is well. Thev have no missfivintrs 
as to the correctness of their belief. They may go in peace. 
These are indeed glad tidings of great joy, and he who 
proclaims them will always be a w^elcome preacher to the 
many who frequent the broad and easy way of a mere 
nominal religion. . . . It is not meant to question the 
sincere and earnest piety of the preachers themselves in 
the present day. To their qww jNIaster they severally 
stand or fall. But tlieir own guilelessness may make 
them less watchfully alive to the moral mischiefs so 
much requiring repentance and amendment of life, which 



^ Dr. Hawker's Works, vol. vi. 
" Tract by Eeligious Tract Society. 



PROTESTANTISM 177 

actually prevail in the hearts of those whom they ex- 
hort."^ 

"When this doctrine shall be once thoroughly under- 
stood," writes a barrister in his ' Tracts of an Anti- 
Tractarian,' " the whole gang of coiners, pickpockets, 
receivers of stolen goods, brothel-keepers, housebreakers, 
and all the attendant train of criminals, may go on siiming 
in security within the scope of a covenant which procured 
for them pardon and peace from all eternity, and the 
blessings of which 'no act whatever' can possibly frustrate 
or destroy. . . . The daily increasing crowds of the ignorant 
and nninquiring which are gained over to the new school 
of faith act fearfully on the national weKare." 

I would not have it supposed that tlie doctrine of faith 
is not held by Catholics as sincerely as by Protestants, but 
with the former, faith is the very first step in their religious 
system upon which all the moral code depends. Faith is 
the recognition of God. That recognition must be made 
before the dogma of duty can be evolved from it. The 
Lutheran establishes the first principle and hacks away all 
its consequences, nay, he opposes it to its consequences. 

The Calvinistic theory is not more satisfactory. As I have 
pointed out in the former volume, it also is the negation of 
moral obligation. 

Free-will being denied, man acts as the Creator moves 
him. He commits sin or does what is right because 
God wills him to sin or to be just ; God is responsible, not 
man. "We assert," Calvin taught, "that by an eternal 
and unchangeable decree, God hath determined whom He 
will one day permit to share in eternal felicity, and whom 
He will damn. In respect to the elect the decree is 

^ The Missing Doctrine, 1865, pj). 4-5. 
M 



178 CHRISTIANITY 



founded in His unmerited mercy without any regard to 
human worthiness, but those whom He delivers up to dam- 
nation are, by a just and irreprehensible judgment, excluded 
from all access to eternal life." As faith was considered 
by Calvin a gift of Divine mercy, and yet as he was unable 
to deny that many are represented in the Gospel to be 
believers, in whom Christ found no earnestness and no 
perseverance, and whom therefore he does not recognize as 
elect, Calvin asserts that God intentionally produced within 
them an apparent faith, that He insinuated Himself into 
the souls of the reprobate in order to render them more 
inexcusable.^ 

With Calvin there is a negation of moral authority and 
of conscience. God rules by force, and when Calvin 
framed liis model republic of Geneva upon these principles, 
he tolerated no liberty of conscience, but drove the Catho- 
lics to hear his preachers, imprisoned the irreligious, and 
clipx^ed tlie hair and ruffles of the vain. 

The salient difference between Protestant ethics and 
Catholic moral law is that with the former, religion and 
morals are distinct and opposed, with the latter they are 
combined. Luther in numberless passages of his writings 
insists on the separation ; he puts them as wide apart as 
the east and the west, he opposes them as light and dark- 
ness. He teaches that the moral law should not be suffered 
to take up its abode in our consciences to stiffen them into 
a sense of responsibility. When the question was put to 
him, "What need is there then of moral law?" his answer 
was, " For the sake of civil order." He called morality the 
Law, and faith he termed Grace, and insisted that the pur- 
suit of the former incapacitated man for receiving the latter. 

^ Calvin, lib. iii. c. 2, v. 11. 



rRO TESTANTISM 1 79 

" These two things," said Luther in his Commentary on the 
Epistle to the Galatians, " must ever be separated one from 
the other in our minds and our hearts, that the conscience 
when it feels its sins and is terrified may say to itself, Now 
thou art of the earth, therefore let the lazy ass then work, 
and serve, and ever carry the burden imposed upon it. 
That is to say, let the body with its members be ever sub- 
jected to the law. But when thou mountest up to heaven, 
leave the ass with its burden ujDon the earth. For the 
conscience must have nothing to do with the law, works, 
and earthly righteousness. The law must remain out of 
heaven, that is to say out of the heart and the conscience. 
On the other hand the freedom of the Gospel is to remain 
out of the world, that is to say out of the body and its mem- 
bers." And he goes on to shew that the law, or morality, 
is the state or civil rule, that morality is simply obedience 
to the law of the land and immorality is therefore no viola- 
tion of God's law, nor affects the conscience in any way. 

The logical consequence of this doctrine was the negation 
of the sinfulness of sin, and therefore the negation of the 
holiness of God. And to this extent the followers of Luther 
actually did proceed. 

Melancthon, in his Commentary on the Epistle to the 
Eomans, in the edition of the year 1525, hardily asserted 
that God wrought evil and good indiscriminately, that He 
was the author of David's adultery, of the treason of Judas 
as well as of Paul's conversion. In writino- to the Land- 
grave Philip of Hesse (1530), Zwingli asserted that God 
is " the author, mover, and impeller to sin," and that He 
uses the instrumentality of man to produce injustice, " He 
it is who moves the robber to murder the innocent."^ In 

1 Zwingli de Providentia, c. vi. "Movet latrouem ad oocidenduin iiiiio- 
ceutem, etiamsi imparatum. " 



I So CHRISTIANIT Y 



numerous places also Calvin declares that God instigates 
man to the commission of ^^^'hat is evil, and that man's fall 
into crime is ordained by the providence of God/ Beza, 
after Calvin's death, was not satisfied Avitli repeating that 
God incites, imjDels, and urges to evil, he even added 
that " the Almighty creates a portion of men to he His 
instruments, with the intent of carrying out His evil 
designs tln'ough them."^ 

If Lutheranism and Calvinism have not led, wherever 
they have been embraced, to a general dissolution of morals, 
this is due to the fragments of positive truth which they 
have retained, and to the fact that men are often better 
than their profession, and that none are rigidly consequent 
in what they do to the principles they claim as their guide. 

I have quoted at length the sentiments of the principal 
Eeformers to shew that their systems, when not positive, 
are negations of Catholic teaching on morality; that they 
introduce a schism between religion and duty. 

The true successors of the Eeformers are those who carry 
division and opposition into realms of thought and feeling 
they left intact. Theu^ great work was the separation of 
authority and liberty, of the Church and the Scriptures, of 
religion and morality. The IMediseval Church had doubt- 
less allowed authority to overlap and suffocate liberty, 
and had made tradition supersede Scripture ; but the Pro- 
testant Eeformers lifted liberty and Scripture into the glare 
of day, and trod authority and the Church into the dust, 

^ Calvini Instil, lib. iv. c. 18, sec. 2; lib. iii. c. 28, sec. 8. 

^ Bezse Apliprism. xxii. "Sic auteni agit jier ilia instrumenta, ut non 
tan turn sinat ilia agere, nee tantum moderetur eventum, sed etiam incitet, 
impellat, moveat, regat, atque adeo, c[uod omnium est maximum, et creat, 
ut per iUa agat, quod constituit. " 



PROTESTANTISM i8i 

and they put asunder that which had hitherto kept a holy 
wedlock, religion and morality. 

The successors of these schismatics — the word exactly 
expresses their character of dividers — are those who elevate 
schism or opposition into the only realities. 

" We know nothmg to be true," says Bruno Bauer, " but 
that negation is universal."^ "Negation is eternal," says 
Proudhon,"^ as the fundamental principle and conclusion of 
his philosophy. But, say others, when we deny all, we 
ought to deny that negation itself, and this negation con- 
stitutes all that we know as positive. Thus out of nothing 
something comes. 

" Tlie grandeur of human nature," observes M. Eenan, 
"consists in contradiction."^ " Contradiction is the sign of 
truth."' 

This doctrine has been applied to every branch of science, 
to history, politics, and social economy. It has been ap- 
plied to God Himself 

" God," says M. Vacherot, " is man's shadow projected 
into heaven." " We adore the great, the all-powerful Ne- 
gation," is the religion of Feuerbach.^ This negation in its 
concrete form is evil, impiety, hatred of God, horror of men. 
It is what the Christian calls Satan, the personification and 
principle of division, that " Spirit of contradiction" which 
Faust bids " lead the way" to utter ruin and annihilation. 

" Adversary of the Eternal ! " exclaims M. Proudhon, 
" be on my side, Satan, whoever you may be, I will take 
your word and ask for nothing more."'' " Come, Satan come, 

1 Bauer: Critique des Evangiles synoptiques, preface. 

2 Proudhon : Revolution sociale demontrce, &c. 

3 Eenan; Etudes sur le poeme de Job, p. 62, ? Ibid. p. 67. 
^ Feuerbacli : Das "Wesen der Religion. Leipz. 1849. 

6 La Revolution au 17™ siecle. 



i83 CHRISTIAXITY 



the calumniated of priests and of kings, that I may embrace 
you, that I may clasp you to my breast! I have known 
you for long and you have known me. Your works, 
blessed of my heart! are not always beautiful and good, 
but they alone give us a knowledge of the universe, and 
prevent it from being an aljsurdity. AVithout you what 
would justice be? an instinct; reason? a routine; man? a 
beast. You alone animate and fecundate toil, you ennoble 
wealth, you excuse authority, you place the seal on virtue. 
Hope on, proscribed one ! I have only my pen to place at 
your service, but it is worth millions of bulletins."^ 

Others again deny the Absolute by identifying the human 
race with Him ; or rather, let me say, they raise Humanity 
to the pitch of Deification. These are the Positivists, 
who affirm the link between man and man which Catholics 
hold, viz.. Charity, but deny God and, with Him, the link 
uniting man to Him. They may be said to affirm the 
Church and to oppose it to God. The human race, con- 
ceived as a continuous whole, without beginning of days or 
end of life, past, present, and future, is the " Grand Etre" 
of Auguste Comte. If there be a Supreme Providence, the 
best, and indeed the only, way of rightly worshipping and 
serving Him, is by doing our utmost to love and serve that 
other Great Being, whose inferior Providence has bestowed 
on us all the benefits that we owe to the labours and virtues 
of former generations. Inasmuch as we know nothing of the 
Supreme Being, supposing there be one, we cannot worship 
Him, but as we do know the Great Being, Humanity, we 
can serve and worship it. It ascends into the unknown 
recesses of the past, embraces the manifold present, and 
descends into the interminable future. 

^ De la justice dans la Revolution, viii^. etude, e. v. sec. 42. 



PRO TESTANTISM 1 83 

Of the vast unrolling web of hiunan life, the part best 
known to us is irrevocably past ; this we can no longer serve, 
but can still love; to the present we are attached by a 
thousand threads, the making or unmaking of the future is 
in our liands. The golden rule of morality is to live for 
others. To do as we would be done by is not sufficient for 
the founder of the religion of Positivism, we should en- 
deavour not to love ourselves at all. Nothing less will 
satisfy him, as towards humanity, than the sentiment 
addressed by Thomas ^ Kempis to God ; " 1 will love Thee 
more than myself, and myself only for Thee." The good 
of others is to be the only inducement on which we allow 
ourselves to act ; and we should endeavour to suppress all 
our personal desires, every feature of egoism, for the love 
of others. Every indulgence, even in food, not necessary 
to health, he condemns as immoral. All gratifications, 
except those of the affections, are to be tolerated only as 
" inevitable infirmities." 

Such is an outline of Comte's remarkable system, which 
he afterwards developed into a complete religion with 
elaborate ritual, liturgy, and hierarchy, a religion in wdiicli 
the object of worship and praise, and to whom sacrifice w\as 
to be offered, is the Human Eace. 

In this we have one half of a truth, tlie Catholic doctrine 
of the social Christ, the universal Man, bound together by 
the tie of charity, but separated from, and opposed to, the 
personal Christ, the God -Man. 

Another school, of which the Neo-Hegelians are the chief 
and ■ most conspicuous apostles, deify man individually in 
opposition to other men and to the negation of God. 

"My task," said Feuerbach, "is to affirm man, who has 
been denied for two thousand years by religious and scholas- 



1 84 CHRISTIANIT Y 



tic sophists. The knowledge, tlie conscience, man has of 
God is nothing but a name Idj which he designates the 
science of himself. His God is the soul manifested : man 
adores himself and cannot do otherwise." " Man's God is 
only his idea of himself." " You believe that love is an 
attribute of God, because you love yourself; you believe 
that God is a wise and good being, because you know no- 
thing better than wisdom and goodness; you believe that God 
exists because you exist yourself, that He is a being because 
you are yourself a being." Thence he develops a scheme of 
Christianity as the worship by man of himself in his different 
attributes.-^ This is that Brocken Spectre called God, of 
which M. Vacherot speaks, and M. Marr following his lead 
says, " Teach man that there is no other God but himself, 
that he is the alpha and omega of all things, the superior 
being, and the most real reality." " Philosophy," thinks M. 
Proudhon, " does not deny the Absolute, it simply eliminates 
Him. Alone, tbe Revolution looked Him in the face and said 
to itself, I M'ill conquer Him. Is it war we proclaim against 
God ? — Be it so, let us make war upon Him."^ " Let us drive 
the eternal Father back into His remote heaven," exclaims the 
same writer ; " His presence amongst us hangs on a thread. 
The Eevolution does not mince matters with the Deity."^ 

But in this divinization of man, there is a truth, the truth 
that each man is made in the image of God, and is to some 
extent a reflexion of the perfections of God. It deifies those 
human attributes which Christianity gives in their perfection 
to the Man Jesus. But it denies the Absolute, It makes 
each man his own God, and introduces universal discord 
and variance into the family of men. 

^ Feuerbacli : Das Wesen des Cliristentliiims. Leipz. 1849. 
2 De la Justice dans la Revolution, vi°. etude, c. 11, sec. 12. 
^ La Eevolution au 19° siecle, p. 292. 



PROTESTANTISM 185 

There is another school of theorists whose Deity is " the 
God of pure reason, a bare abstraction, outside of time, space, 
movement, life, and all the conditions of reality : the God 
whom, in their speculative soaring, Plato, Plotinus, Male- 
branche, and Fenelon pursued in vain as a real Being ; the 
God whose activity is without movement, whose thought is 
without development, whose will is without choice, whose 
eternity is without duration, whose immensity is' without 
extent. This God, whom a contemporary represents as 
relegated to the desert throne of his silent and void eternity, 
has no other throne than tlie mind, no other reality than the 
idea."i 

This also is true, as has been already shewn, true of the 
Absolute apart from creation, in His side turned from all 
relations with the world and with men. But this is only 
one truth, and it is converted into the denial of that other 
side, the relative aspect of God, as Creator and Incarnate, 
the highest expressions of the knowable Deity. 

There is also the subjective God, the result of the grand 
imaginative instincts of humanity, as M. Renan calls Him, 
created by man's thought, but without reality. An idea, 
nothing more. M. Pienan calls by this sublime name the 
secret and interior motive of all his great aspirations. God is 
to him the highest type of science and art. He is the truth 
that he conceives, the beauty he imagines. " Humanity," 
says M. Renan, " is not composed of wise men and philo- 
sophers. It is often mistaken, or rather it often deceives 
itself on facts and persons. But it does not deceive itself 
on the object of its worship : that which it adores is really 
adorable ; for that which it adores in the characters it has 
idealized, are goodness and beauty." " Man makes the 

Vacliurot : La Metaphysique et la Science, ii. ]>. 539. 



1 86 CHRISTIANITY 



sanctity of that wliicli he believes in, as he makes the beauty 
of that which he loves." " The word God being in possession 
of the respect of humanity, this word having a long pre- 
scriptive right, and having been used in beautiful poems, 
should not be abandoned, lest the habits of language be 
upset. Tell the simple to live on aspirations after truth, 
beauty, and moral goodness, these words will be to them 
without sense. Tell them to love God, not to offend God, 
and they will understand you at once. God, Providence, 
immortality, are so many good old words, a little heavy may 
be, which Philosophy v/ill interpret in the most refined 
sense, but which it can never replace with advantage. 
Under one form or another, God will always be the sum- 
mary of our supra-sensible wants, the category of the ideal, 
that is to say the form under which we conceive the ideal, 
as space and time are the categories of bodies, that is, the 
forms under which we conceive bodies. In other terms, 
man, placed before beautiful things, good or true, goes out 
of himself, and suspended by a celestial charm, annihilates 
his paltry personality, is in ecstasy, and lost. What is 
this but adoration?"^ 

What is this but the Christ, the ideal God-Man, minus 
His reality. M. Eenan affirms all that man desires to be 
very good, except one important demand, without which his 
affirmations are nothing worth, the reality of tlie Ideal. 

Such then is the Protestant spirit carried out to its 
ulterior consequences, a spirit exclusive, negative, combative. 
It begins by opposing religion to morality, and liberty to 
authority, it pursues its course and opposes man against 
God, and man against man. It denies the Church, the 
universal Christ, and then it affirms the Church and denies 

1 Etudes d'Histoire Eeligieuse, 1864, preface, pp. 334, 419. 



PRO TESTANTISM 1 87 

the personal Christ. It denies the relative God, by oppos- 
ing to that idea the notion of the absolute God, and then it 
idealizes the God-Man, but denies His reality. It denies 
the existence of virtue or of vice, and then it affirms their 
identity. And finally, it denies everything in a paroxysm 
of spleen, and says that nothing is but Negation. 

Rational truths and testhetic truths are tlie sisters of 
moral and religious truths. These four segments make a 
complete circle. Catholicism unites all, or professes to do 
so. Protestantism opposes all to one another, at least in 
theory. 

The inevitable consequence of the introduction of the 
Protestant spirit into a country has been that it has in- 
vaded the social relations to break them up, by setting 
man against man. I speak with confidence, that any one 
who has had opportunities of contrasting Protestant with 
Catholic society will admit, that, in the latter case, mutual 
confidence, trust and sympathy, is a prominent character- 
istic, whereas, in the former, suspicion, distrust, and aliena- 
tion are its most salient features. And this is inevitable, 
for the base of the Catholic system is unity, whereas, in the 
other system, the fundamental principle is division. 

And this if is wdiich hais produced that peculiar phe- 
nomenon of Protestant religionism — snobbishness, vulgarity. 
Cross the Gemmi from the Valais into the canton of Berne, 
and you pass from courtesy to a brutality of manner not 
unlike that so common in our own land. Go from the 
Catholic Rhine into Calvinist HoUand or Lutheran Prussia, 
and the ill weeds of blackguardism stare you in the face at 
once. Why is it so ? Because the Protestant is taught, as 
an integral j)''^!'^ of his religion, to make himself and his 
own opinion the criterium of right for every one else; he is 
therefore tauglit to set himself above every one else, to defy 



1 88 CHRISTIANITY 



every one else, to hate the man who is wiser, richer, and 
more powerful than himself, and to spurn from him the 
ignorant, the poor, and the weak. 

The Protestant spirit is not confined to sectarian bodies, 
it has invaded the Eoman Church. If Anglican bishops in 
their charges attack all those religious truths to wdiich they 
are themselves colour-blind, Eoman prelates assail all those 
scientific truths of which they are themselves ignorant, as 
though they w^ere inevitably destructive to religion. That 
same narrow spirit animates equally the Eoman curia and 
the Puritan press, the Inquisition and the " Church Asso- 
ciation." It is that same spirit which urges Pius IX. to 
proclaim his own personal infallibility, and which makes 
the sects split and splinter into smaller and yet smaller 
fragments, till each man's opinion becomes his only truth, 
and every man becomes his own god. 

The principle of Persecution is by its very nature un- 
Catholic. The development of the spirit of intolerance in 
the Eoman communion inevitably followed the introduction 
of the autocratic principle, — the erection of the Papacy into a 
spiritual sovereignty. One evil led to another. Whether 
compulsion be used to make a man believe twelve articles of 
belief when he can only mentally grasp three, or to make 
a man surrender nine because the pers'ecutor can only 
tolerate three, is immaterial, the principle is identical, the 
setting up of the belief of one- man as the measm-e of 
belief to other men — a principle eminently Protestant. 
Consequently, Philip II. of Spain w^as more of a Protestant 
than a Catholic at heart, and William the Silent, ready to 
tolerate all religions, was a truer Catholic than his foe. 

Luther and Calvin introduced the wedge to drive apart 
religion and morality, and Pmitanism has forced apart re- 
ligion and aesthetics. The beauty of holiness is taught to 



PRO TESTA NTISM 1 89 

be not one truth, but beauty to be one thing • and holiness 
another thing, and both to be contrary the one to the other. 

To any one with artistic taste, poetic feeling, and refined 
perceptions, there is something inexpressibly sad in passing 
from a Catholic to a Protestant country, it is like passing 
from sunshine into mist, from mountain variety and beauty 
into fens, well-drained, cut into square fields, but intolerably 
monotonous. 

Few, unless they think over it, are aware how much they 
are indebted to Catholicism for the lovely ideas and pleasant 
memories which relieve the dreariness of their common 
life. The poets involuntary derive beautiful imagery from 
it, painters delight in it, architects build inspired by it. 
What would foreign travel be without Catholic sights ? Few 
are uninfluenced by the beauty of that religion which bathes 
so large a portion of the Continent in rosy light ; and it is 
only with a shudder that we pass into a Lutheran State or 
a Calvinistic Canton, to a leaden religious sky, and a people 
with ashes, white and ghastly, strewn over their lives. What 
would France, Belgium, the Ehine become, if Protestantized? 

" Great God, I had rather be 
A Pagan suckled in some creed outworn ; 

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, 
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn. "^ 

What is a grand old minster when it has fallen into Pro- 
testant hands ? A shell. The spirit which vivified it is 
gone, and it looks thenceforth a corpse ; beautiful still, with 
a beauty derived from the life which once animated it, but 
now dead and slowly decaying. 

Not only has Protestantism divided morality from reli- 
gion, and religion from beauty ; it has not suffered truth to 

^ Wordsworth. 



I90 CHRISTIANITY 



stand intact. Eelioious truth is shivered into a thousand 
hits, and truth is set against truth. The Tridentine anathe- 
mas were hurled against no positive belief, but every Pro- 
testant Confession has been charged with explosive material 
to kill the faith of the simple, and to mangle that of men 
with wider compass. The Protestant public clamours " ad 
leones" for all who dare assert frhat there are men beyond 
the mountains, and the rulers of the Establishment, with 
rough impatient hand, cast out all who see further than 
themselves, or believe more strongly than do they. 

"Like the base Indian, who threw a pearl awaj' 
Richer than all their tribe." 



CHRISTIANirV AND INDIVIDUALITY 191 



CHAPTEK XII 

CHKISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 

" Would' st thou possess thy heritage, essay 
By active use to render it thine ozmi." — Goethe's " Faust." 

The will the individualizing faculty— Individual will and collective will — 
The tendency of society to destroy individuality— Yet individuality is 
necessary for social advance— The rights of man were ignored before 
the appearance of Christianity— The slave had no rights logically or 
really — The poor had no place — The woman had no riglits— nor had 
the child — The dogmatic basis of right laid down by Christianity — 
Christianity a social revolution — Testimony of the Apostles to its liberal 
character — Equality in the Church — The union of Church and State in- 
terfered with the emancipation of individuality — The doctrine of 
equality of rights ignored in the Middle Ages — Exaggeration of 
authority to the annihilation of liberty — Da Vinci freed science from 
authority and made observation the test of truth — Luther made the in- 
dividual judgment the criterium of religious truths — Descartes made 
it the basis of philosophic certainty — Kousseau founded morality on the 
individual conscience — The French Revolution established politics on 
individual right. 

OUR first sentiment is faith in our own existence, our 
second is belief in our liberty, our third is to hold 
ourselves capable of accomplishing that liberty, our fourth 
is to will to do so. This will follows upon the three first 
intuitions, because they express conviction in our real 
possession of ourselves in spite of the objectivity of the 
exterior world. To will is to bring our force, our energy 



192 



CHRISTIANITY 



into play, it is to impose onr personality on wliat is outside 
of us. 

The will belongs to the very highest faculties of the soul, 
to those faculties whose place nothing can supply, which 
constitute the I-myself, and insulate me in the midst of 
my genus, Homo. 

"Will may he individual or collective, according as it pro- 
ceeds from one person or from an agglomeration of indi- 
viduals, as a family, a tribe, or a nation. 

Collective will, which takes centuries to grow and cen- 
turies to act, is the most powerful : it holds the sceptre of 
the world. It was by this that Eome conquered the 
earth, it was by this that European sovereignties crushed 
feudalism, it was by this that revolutionary France 
triumphed at the moment when Europe, leagued against 
her, foimd her without army, without money, a prey to 
civil war and to the horrors of factions. 

In the individual, will never reaches such greatness ; but 
although the collective will is the concourse of a multitude 
of individual wiUs, there is in the will of each when it has 
reached a certain degree of excellence a sort of irresistible 
attraction which does not fail in the end to become the 
centre to a circle of more pliant and undecided wills. 
Then its power, multiplied by all these, acquires a force 
which surpasses the sphere of individuality. 

In nature everything tends towards agglomeration, to 
centralization ; men melt into one another, and their per- 
sonality disappears in the mass. Tin ceases to be tin and 
copper to be copper, and the result is brass. Society is a 
gulf swallowing up individualities, it is a ]\Iaelstrom sucking 
in every man who comes within the attraction of its vortex, 
the stronger the personality of him who is absorbed, the 
more battered and crushed will it be in the churning of 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 193 

that whirlpool. Empty casks and hen-coops aloue sur- 
vive. Indi^dduality is as necessary to be developed and 
raised to its highest pitch as is solidarity. But we have 
supposed that social perfection is attainable only through 
obliteration of individuality. IVIarbles are made by shaking 
together in a bag a hundred or a thousand unshaped pieces 
of material. They lose all their edges and come forth 
perfectly alike, and all excellently adapted to be the toys 
of children. 

Division of labour augments production, but cretinizes 
the labourer. Perfection in anything requires a speciality 
of attention, and this despoils man of the integrity of being. 
" Extreme subdivision of labour," writes Michelet, '' has 
specialized the workman, and penned him up in this or that 
narrow sphere, and made him a thing isolated in his action 
and capacity, as impotent in itself, if separated from tlie 
whole, as a wheel apart from a machine. They are no longer 
men, but portions of men, who link their action together 
and work like a single engine. This continuing has 
gradually created strange classes of men, sickening to the 
sight, because one perceives in tliem at the first glance the 
ugly impress of a narrow speciality of work; that is to say, 
the complete subjection of personality to some miserable 
detail of industry. Aristotle, in his politics, says, as a cal- 
culating naturalist noting exterior signs, 'The slave is 
an ugly man,' and doubtless the slave of antiquity was 
ugly, bent, and often made hump-backed by his burden ; 
but yet, with all that, he varied his labours, exercised his 
different physical faculties, preserved in them a certain 
equilibrium, and remained a man : he was the slave of a 
man. But what, alas! shall we say of him who, bound 
down to some minute occupation, the same, and the same 
for ever, the serf of a miserable product of manufacture, is 

N 



194 CHRISTIANITY 



the slave of a pin — of a ball of cotton. And then how 
many slaves, moreover, has this single pin, in its different 
parts, head, shank, and point, who, doing but one single 
thing, must confine their activity and their mind to that 
measure."^ 

I have known a man work twelve liours a day making 
dolls' eyes, and he might not vary their colour. In twenty- 
five years he had made millions of dolls' eyes, all cerulean 
blue ; and these were the years in which he might have cre- 
ated himself. He had no time for that, he was chained like 
a galley slave, not to a cannon ball, but to blue dolls' eyes. 

I live in a little country curacy amongst two hundred 
rustics, " whose talk is of bullocks." Their thoughts, their 
feelings are raw and contracted, for their minds and hearts 
are in the clay they dig from infancy to decrepitude. I 
should disbelieve in man as a progressive being, if the 
express did not rush past my windows twice a day. 

Individuality is that which distinguishes man from the 
beast, and where individuality is not given scope for de- 
velopment man returns to his animality. " Beast thou 
art, and unto beast shalt thou return!" 

" It is not by wearing down into uniformity," are the 
golden words of Mr. J. Stuart Mill, " all that is individual 
in themselves, but by cultivating it, and calling it forth, 
within the limits imposed by the rights and interests of 
others, that human beings become a noble and beautiful 
object of contemplation; and as the works partake the 
character of those who do them, by the same process 
human life becomes rich, diversified and animating, fur- 
nishing more abundant aliment to high thoughts and 
elevating feelings, and strengthening the tie which binds 
every individual to the race, by making the race infinitely 

1 Midielet: Frencli Revolution, tr. Bohn, 186i, p. 451. 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 195 



better \vortli belonging to. In proportion to the develop- 
ment of his individuality, each person becomes more 
valuable to himself, and is therefore capable of being more 
valuable to others."^ 

In order that man's spontaneity may have power to 
develop itself, liberty is absolutely necessary, liberty of 
thought, liberty of action, liberty of speech. Interfere 
with these rights, and you mutilate man in his most vital 
part. He may become a machine, a bit of a machine, but 
not a man. To become a man his reason must be given 
room to stretch upwards and his sympathies to expand. 
Ignorance is the wrap which stifles the life of his mind, 
as King John stifled Jews in a leaden sheet ; and selfishness, 
which is a form of ignorance, is the Borgian iron coffin of 
charity and sympathy. 

Before Christianity appeared, the rights of man were 
ignored, and the development of individuality was impeded. 
For these rights were not acknowledged, as the sole basis 
on which they can rest — dogma — was not allowed. Force 
prevailed, violence held rule ; and it was a sauvc, qui peut 
for individuality. If great discoveries were made, great 
characters appeared, it was because there was an excess of 
spontaneity in the days when mankind was young. 

The advent of Christ was the inauguration of a social 
and a moral revolution ; it was the introduction of a gospel 
of deliverance to the captives of the world's bondage as 
well as to those of the senses. 

That coming brought good tidings of joy to a portion of 
the human race to which the world had hitherto given 
nothing but contempt and wrong — the slave, the pauper, 
the woman, and the child. It lifted the poor from the 
dunghill and set him among princes, it proclaimed the 

1 Mill : On Liberty, c. 3. • 



196 CHRISTIANITY 



deliverance of the captive, it consecrated woman, it crowned 
the child. It raised up that great mass of suffering hu- 
manity over which the rest of the world had trodden for 
ages ; it raised it up, with all its ignorance and barbarism, 
its wild passions and helpless weight, its piteous sufferings 
and traditionary wrongs, to plant it before the eyes of the 
rich, the powerful, the wise, the free, and declare that it 
had equal rights, inalienable rights, to be conceded gra- 
ciously, or to be wrested forcibly, to riches and power and 
wisdom and liberty. 

What was the slave before the Incarnation set him free ? 
He was a piece of property like land and cattle. He covdd 
not insist on rights to freedom and to the fruit of his toil, for 
he did not know that he had rights ; he had no basis on 
which to found them. His master had a right to make him 
work, to flog him when idle, to brand him when disobedient, 
to crucify him if he ran away, on the same ground as he 
claimed a right to make his ox plough and then to eat it. 

"Sirnia quam similis turpissime bestia nobis." 

If I may chain the ape and kill it if I please, why may 
I not chain the Negro and kill liim when I please. Slavery 
was' taken for granted to be a necessity in Greece as truly 
as was the right of possessing land. Doubt as to the equity 
and advantage of such an arrangement never entered into 
a Greek mind ; the idea of another state of things was 
impossible to conceive. There is no perfect household 
state, according to Aristotle, that does not consist of slaves 
and freemen, the slave being but an animated instrument, 
as an instrument is a slave without a soul.^ The 
Stagyrite has, in fact, left us a complete theory of 
slavery, as an institution founded on the nature of social 

^ Polit. i. 3; Eth. Nic. viii. 11, 6. 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 197 

order. It is equitable, he argues, as corresponding to a 
natural law, one large portion of the human race being born 
slaves, just as some birds are born to be barn-door fowl 
and dogs to be chained to kennels ; that portion, the bar- 
barian, has not the wit of a Greek, he is an inferior animal 
altogether, made not to command but to obey. There is 
but a shade of difference between the slave and the do- 
mestic animals. 

The master stands towards his slave in the relation of a 
workman to his tools, and therefore cannot love him, for 
there is nothing in common between them, and no equality 
between the parties. 

According to the old Roman legislation there was a 
penalty of death for him who should kill a ploughing-ox, 
but the murderer of a slave was called to no account what- 
ever.^ Cato the elder, a l^right example of Eoman virtue, 
saw nothing immoral in breeding slaves for the market 
like dogs or horses, and when his slaves grew old and use- 
less he cast them out of his house. 

In the old republican times of Eome, there was no recog- 
nition of the slave as having rights in any way equal to 
those of the master, though the censor was empowered to 
inflict a penalty for excessive cruelty. 

It was almost the same with the poor. " Coidd you 
possibly let yourself down so low as not to repel a poor 
man from you with scorn?" was said by a rhetorician of 
the imperial times to a rich man.^ " What is the use too," 
says a popular poet, "of giving anything to a beggar ? One 
loses what one gives away, and only prolongs the miserable 
existence of the receiver."^ And Virgil, in his beautiful 

1 Colum. vi. pi-cTf. 7. 2 Quintil. Decl. 301, iii. 17. 

3 riaut. Triiminm. i. 2, 58, 59. 



1 98 CHRIS TIA NITV 



passage describing the peace and repose of the wise man, 
introduces as one of the features his being exempted from 
feeling pity for the necessitous person.'^ The condition of 
the poor can hardly be described more elegantly than in 
the following words, which I quote with pleasure: "When 
we attempt to inquire about the poor, in ancient times, 
the most ominous thing that meets us is the deficiency 
of records. Here and there at intervals we may discover 
some track of their existence, some bloody footprint 
marking where man lias been and struggled ; a wild out- 
break against intolerable oppression ; a servile war ; a cry 
of famishing multitudes; and then a long death-like silence. 
This is all. 

"They have shewn themselves in their misery and im- 
potence, and then vanished. For a moment a helpless hand 
has been raised above that tumultuous and stormy ocean, 
and then the waters have covered it again. They are a 
race without name, memorial, or relic. They have left 
nothing by which they may be remembered on earth. 
Their history has never been written. The most barbarous 
tribes have bequeathed tokens of their existence for the 
curious to investigate ; some rude monument or cluster of 
graves in the wilderness ; a weapon of war, or an article of 
domestic use ; the deeds of the chief, or the wisdom of the 
sage, embalmed in tale or song, — but these are a people 
who have lived and died in silence. Spread through all 
lands, and numerous in every age, tliey have done nothing 
to perpetuate their memory. They have had neither 
champion nor teacher; they have left neither token nor 
monument ; in life and death they are as if they had never 
been. Now there is something more profoundly expressive 
in this great and solemn silence regarding a vast portion of 

1 Georg. ii. 499. 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 199 

the liunian race, than if we were furnished with the most 
minute details of their condition and sufferings. It is as 
much as to say that for age after age their claims, their 
wants, their miseries, their very existence, made no impres- 
sion on the rest of the world ; that they were unable to 
effect anything for themselves or make their presence felt, 
and so have passed away the objects of a cold and merciless 
indifference."^ 

This was inevitable ; superior power constituted right, 
and beneath the heel of the mighty the weak and the poor 
were pulverized. But with the Incarnation, right became 
dogmatic. The rights of man are at the present day acknow- 
ledged on all sides, though their exercise is not everywhere 
allowed ; but that which constitutes rights and that which 
constitutes them equal in all men has been forgotten. 

This is the basis of rights now : — They are derived from 
God ; men are responsible to God for their exercise. All 
men are brethren with e(|ual rights, for all men are sprung 
from one father and one mother; and all men are one 
family in Christ the universal Man. 

Has the Australian savage a right to live and appropriate 
the results of his toil in the face of the active and intelli- 
gent English colonist? If that savage be only a tail-less 
ape, the colonist may shoot him and seize on his store of 
kangaroo-meat ; but if that savage be his brother, derived 
from one primeval stock, and deriving his rights and re- 
sponsibilities from the same God-Man, then his life and 
his kangaroo-meat are his own, and he cannot be robbed of 
either without violation of God's law. 

The state of woman was not much better than that of a 
slave. She was the property of the man because she was 

1 Dr. Maturiii: Two Sermons, Dublin, 1866, 



200 CHRISTIANITY 



weaker than man, and right must be either dogmatic or 
forcible. Plight if not dogmatic is nothing at all, and right 
if dogmatic is equal for all. The National Assembly of 
1789 proclaimed the rights of man, but without founding 
them on any principle. They therefore reposed merely on 
the will of the Assembly, and when the Assembly became 
the Convention, superior force constituted the only right 
that was acknowledged. 

Aristotle boasted of the advantage to the Greeks over 
the barbarians, that woman amongst them had been raised 
to be the real helpmate of man, and not degraded to the 
level of the slave.^ But that position was accorded her 
not as hers by right, but as rendered necessary. Socrates 
endeavoured to place the relations of man and wife in a 
higher, purer light, but utility as its end appears in his 
description of the compact. " God has given to woman a 
nature adapted to the cares within doors, to man one suit- 
able for out-door cares. He has prepared the soul and the 
body of man to support cold and heat, long journeys and 
expeditions ; He has given less strength to the woman. 
As He has confided to her the nutrition of the new-born 
infant, He has inspired her with more tenderness for tlie 
new progeniture than He has man. He has destined her to 
look after the goods brought home, and He knew that fear 
is not a bad guardian, therefore He has given to her a soul 
more timorous than her husband's. Knowing also that 
the workman outside must sometimes defend himself 
against aggression. He has endowed man with more intre- 
pidity. Nature not having made either of them perfect, 
they have need of each other, and their union is the most 
useful, because they mutually complete one another. We 
must therefore fulfil as best w^e can the duties God has 

1 Polit. i. 1, 5. 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 201 

assigned to each of us. What nature has prescriljed, the 
law has approved by uniting man and woman. If God 
gives them a community of children, the law imposes on 
them the government of the house, and the law^ declares 
honourable the functions which God attributes specially to 
each of the two sexes. In fact, it is more honest for the 
woman to remain within than to gad about witliout ; it is 
more shameful for the man to shut himself within than to 
occupy himself with exterior cares." 

But as the object of marriage was utility, the law and 
custom allowed of practices inconsistent with a recognition 
of the woman being free of her person. Citizens, says 
Plutarch, should not be jealous and exclusive about the 
possession of their wives, as the object of marriage is the 
production of sturdy soldiers, but rather should share them 
with others, an oldish man ought to give up his wife to a 
younger for a time, in order to have children of her; and so 
it was accounted a proper thing, as Polybius tells us, for a 
husband who had already several children by his wife to 
lend her to his friend. Therefore, in Sparta, if a man was 
desirous of children without burdening himself with a wife, 
he ^v^ould borrow liis neighbour's wife for a period; and 
this promiscuousness was carried so far that three, and 
sometimes four, Spartans, had one woman for a wife in 
common.^ 

In Eome the wife held an honourable place at her hus- 
band's side, but she was, nevertheless, entirely dependent on 
her lord. In the earlier times, the will of the father of the 
household was despotic, with right of life and death ; Eg- 
natius Mecenius put his wife to death for having drunk 

' Xenophon : Econ. c. vii. 

^ Xeii. de Rep. Lac. i. 8 ; Polyb. Fragni. in Script. Vet. Nov. Coll. ed. 
Hav. ii. 384. 



202 CHRISTIANITY 



Avine, aud was not called to account for the act. The hus- 
band alone had the property ; all the family earnings were 
liis. FuU marriage " with the hand" took place either by 
" coemption," where the husband acquired his wife by an 
imaginary sale, or by " usus," on her having remained a full 
year uninterruptedly with liim. Confarreation, wliich was 
a religious rite binding the parties in the sight of the gods, 
was superseded by the less binding marriage, and in the reign 
of Tiberius only three patricians were to be found who were 
issues of a marriage by confarreation, and who could as such 
be eligible to the sacerdotal dignity of ilamen dialis. 

That the child should be the property of the father who 
had procreated it, and fed it, was an idea so natural that 
the right of the male parent to punish his child with death, 
or to refuse to bring it up, and expose it when born to die 
of cold or be devoured by beasts, was almost universal. 

There was an Icelander, Thorir by name, subject to Ber- 
serkir rages, before the introduction of Christianity into the 
island. His fits disqualified him from becoming a great 
chief in his frith, and sorely grieved him. It happened that 
a neighbour, Thorgrim of Kornsa, had exposed a man-child 
lately born to him, and Thorir heard its wailmg as he 
journeyed, musing on his affliction. Then the thought struck 
liim that lie would save the life of the infant. " I wiU pray 
to Him who created the sun, for I trust Him as the most 
powerful One, that He will relieve me of my infirmity, and 
for His sake I will save the babe from death and wdll cherish 
it as my own."^ 

This in aU probability is what passed through the Ice- 
lander's mind: — The God who made me,made also that child. 
If I have a right to live, that child has a right to live. If 

^ Vatnsdcela Saga, c. 37; ed. Werlauf: Kopenhagen, 1812, p. 150. 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 203 

it Ije pleasing to God that I should exercise my right, it must 
be pleasing to Him that it should exercise its right. Thus 
the right of the child was founded on a logical basis. But 
that basis was not altogether satisfactory, for the argument 
would apply equally to all living things. The cow, the 
sheep, the plant, have life conveyed to them by God, it 
must therefore be pleasing to Him that they should com- 
plete that life. Tarquin violated an equal right to life when 
he cut off the poppy heads as when he executed the nobles. 
But Christianity anchored all the rights of meii on a 
dogmatic rock, and the parting of the cable which attached 
them to it could alone be their wreck. Founded by a 
Carpenter, proclaimed by fishermen, spread abroad among 
the Gentiles by a scholar who voluntarily accepted the con- 
dition of a working-man, it addressed the glad tidings of 
social regeneration to the poor, the down -trodden, and the 
despised. Appealing to the slave, it broke his chains on the 
anvil of the Incarnation, to the poor man, it told him that 
he was ennobled by the purple blood of Christ, to the 
woman, it bade her be pure like the Virgin-Mother of the 
God-Man, to the child, it said " of such is the Kingdom of 
Heaven," throwing its aegis over childhood and casting the 
desecrator of innocence, with a millstone about his neck, 
into the bottom of the sea. Appealing to the multitude, it 
asserted the rights of individualism, vindicating the claims 
of reason against superstition, of sentiment against hard logic, 
in presenting an Ideal to which the heart could cling and in 
which it could find rest, an Ideal Man far higher than an 
Apollo, a Jove, or an Osiris, an Ideal Woman above a Venus, 
a Juno, or an Isis. It appealed to conscience as a ground 
of personal responsibility, and of right to be exercised freely. 
" We are escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler 
the snare is broken and we are delivered." 



204 CHRISTIANITY 



But it must not be supposed that the social revolution, which 
even the Jews suspected must result from the preaching of 
Christ,^ was to be accomplished at once. The Twelve hardly 
knew at first that the logical result of the Incarnation — 
supposing them to have held the hypostatic union — was the 
equality of the rights of Jew and Gentile ; but S. Paul saw 
clearer, and his system was one of generic universality. His 
sentiment, like that of Plutarch, virtually overthrew the 
barrier of national and individual exclusiveness ; with him 
there was neither Greek nor Jew, neither bond nor free, 
neither male or female, but all one in Christ Jesus.^ 

When Christianity appeared on the scene, the world had 
forgotten that man had any rights, any dignity, any object 
higher than lust and rapine for which to live. Christianity 
came to declare the dignity of that human nature which 
God had made in His image, and which Christ had assumed, 
and which was therefore doubly ennobled. It came to de- 
clare in the face of an autocracy the absolute equality of all 
men in the sight of God ; and, in the presence of slavery, to 
testify that liberty is man's inalienable prerogative. Eomau 
civilization was crumbling into a mass of loathsome pu- 
trescence, from which all that was high, noble, pure, and 
honourable, was disappearing. By recalling man to the 
divinity of his origin and of his vocation ; by raising him 
from the sensualism of the brute and setting him in the 
liberty of a moral and intelligent being, Christianity flashed 
before the eyes of imperial autocracy, as a power which 
would infallil)ly disturb the existing relations of master and 
slave, of despot and subject. 

Bead by the sombre light of Eoman policy, the writings 
of the Apostles are full of significance. 

^ "He stirreth np the people." Luke xxiii. 5. 
2 Gal. iii. 28; Col. iii. 11. 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 205 

"With God there is no respect of persons, says S. Paul/ bar- 
barian, Scythian, bond or free, all are one in Christ;" for 
"where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."^ "The 
creature shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption 
into the glorious liberty of the children of God."^ " Stand 
fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and 
be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."^ " Ye are 
bought with a price ; be ye not the servants of men," ^ "Why 
is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?"' 
" Brethren, ye have been called into liberty ; only use not 
liberty for an occasion of the flesh." '^ 

Noble also is the appeal of the great Apostle of the Gen- 
tiles to Philemon, when he sends him back his runaway 
slave Onesimus : " He departed for a season, that thou 
shouldest receive him for ever ; not now as a servant, but 
above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but now 
much more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord." 
Our Lord had said, " The truth shall make you free," and " If 
the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed ;"^ and S. 
James taught men to look into " the perfect law of liberty." '" 
S. Peter also says that Christians are to submit to tyranny, as 
it were under protest, " as free, and not using your liberty 
for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."^^ 

It is true that many of these passages refer to moral 
rather than civil liberty ; but the principle is the same — 
if man is directly responsible to God for the morality of his 
actions and the use he makes of his faculties, it follows that 
slavery, which places him at the complete disposal of 
another man, interferes with the freedom of his actions and 

1 Epli. vi. 9. 2 Col. iii. 11. 3 2 Cor. iii. 17. 

4 Kom. viii. 21. 5 Gal. v. 1. ^ 1 Cor. vii. 23. 

7 1 Cor. X. 29. 8 Gal. v. 13. » John viii. 32, 36. 

" Jas. ii. 12. 11 1 Pet. ii. 16. 



2o6 CHRISTIANITY 



impedes the development of his powers, and is therefore a 
violation of God's law. And in the plainest terms S. Paul 
expresses the antagonism of Christian principles to the 
despotism of civil government, when he exclaims in words 
to be echoed with bitterness by many an after generation, 
" We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against princi- 
palities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness 
of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."' ^ 
Thus Christianity taught men that they were free and 
that they were noble ; and whatever might be their ranks 
and relative positions in the world, it boldly declared that 
in the eye of God, and in His Church, all stood on oiie 
level. It knew nothing of castes and privileged orders. All 
were bound by the same duties, to all were extended alike 
the same hopes, the same means of grace. "The word 
caste," says M. Guizot, in his * History of the Civilization of 
Europe,' " cannot be applied to the Christian Church. A 
system of caste, and the existence of hereditary succession, 
inevitably involve the idea of privileges. The very definition 
of a caste implies privileges. When the same functions, the 
same powers, become hereditary in the same families, it is 
evident that privileges follow, and that no one can acquire 
such functions and powers unless he is born to them. This, 
in fact, is what has taken place wherever religious govern- 
ment has fallen into the hands of a caste, it has become a 
privilege ; no one has been permitted to enter it but the 
members of families belonging to the caste. Nothing of 
this has occurred in the Christian Church ; on the contrary, 
she has ever maintained the equal admissibility of all men, 
whatever their origin, to all her functions, to all her dignities. 
The ecclesiastical state, particularly from the fifth to the 
twelfth century, was open to all. The Church was recruited 

1 Epli. vi. 12. 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 207 

from all ranks, from the inferior as well as from the superior 
— more commonly from the inferior. She alone resisted the 
system of castes ; she alone maintained the equality of com- 
petition; she alone called all legitimate superiors to the 
possession of power. This is the first grand result naturally 
produced by the fact that she was a corporation, and not a 
caste." 

In the Church, worldly rank and position had, theoreti- 
cally at least, no place. With the same rite and the same 
words, the same privileges were accorded to the infant of 
the tramp wrapped in a tattered shawl, and to the baby 
prince swathed in gold brocade. So in every sacrament, 
the Church ignored temporal distinction, and viewed each 
Christian as a Christian only, a child of Him with Whom is 
" no distinction of persons." To this day, when earth is 
committed to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust, the 
deceased is prayed for, whether brought in a frail deal shell 
at parish expense from the workhouse, or from the palace 
in the crimson velvet and gold cased coffin of royalty, 
whatever the deceased may have been, beggar or prince, he 
is the " dear brother here departed" of the parish priest and 
the parish sexton. 

At the first glance it is sufiiciently difficult to account 
for the strong antipathy exhibited towards Christianity by 
the Eoman State. The Pantheon had niches enough to ac- 
commodate any number of new gods, and liberty was freely 
accorded to any person who chose to believe anything. 

But Christianity was not a mere importation of foreign 
gods and foreign mysteries. It had a mission beside that 
of changing the popular creed. Its mission was the en- 
franchisement of humanity. When a great Eoman died, it 
was the fashion for him to manumit a number of his slaves. 



^o8 CHRISTIANITY 



AMien Christ gave ujd the ghost He set at liberty all mankind. 
That Christianity was a religion teaching political principles 
which would infallibly subvert the government of Eome, 
was perceived by the shrewdest Eoman emperors ; and these 
were invariably its most inveterate persecutors. 

When Alexander the Great, drunk with Bacchic wine, 
slew Clitus at a banquet, " There is no law above the will 
of the monarch," whispered a flatterer. Such a doctrine 
was sweet to a despot. But when Theodosius sent com- 
missioners to slaughter the inhabitants of Antioch for having 
mutilated his statues, they were met by a bare-footed, 
ragged, hairy man, a hermit, and sent back to the tyrant 
with a message of other sort ; " Go and say from me to the 
emperor : you are an emperor, but you are a man, and you 
command men who are your fellow-creatures, and who are 
made in the image of God. Fear tlie wTath of the Creator 
if you destroy His work. You, who are so much displeased 
when your statues are overthrown, shall God be less dis- 
pleased if you destroy His?" 

Man is made in the image of God. He has rights and duties 
which it is not lawful for the State to forget and to override. 
God is no respecter of persons. Such were the notes of the 
Gospel message which jarred on the ear of despotism. The 
idea of the equality of men was odious to an aristocracy; 
that of the meanest slave having God-given rights which 
might not be trampled on without incurring Divine M'rath 
was hateful to the lords of misrule. No wonder that the 
Felixes trembled before the apostles of liberty, for they felt 
that their doctrine circumscribed and limited their powers. 

When Constantine established himself on the throne, he 
saw, as clearly as any emperor who had preceded him, that 
the constitution of the Church and that of the State were 
antagonistic. Either the State would become democratic, 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 209 

or the Cliurcli must be infected with the political views of 
the emperor, and become autocratic. 

He therefore forced a concordat on the Church, offering 
her recognition by the State, and freedom from persecution, 
and demanding in return that she should touch lightly on 
the rights of men, suppress her efforts to obtain liberty for 
every individual, and devote herself to some other portion 
of her task. 

The crown, by assuming the nomination of bishops, held 
in its hands the power of bribing the Church into acqui- 
escence in its claims. 

The result of this concordat was soon evident. The 
Church had sold her birthright for a mess of pottage. She 
lost her ancient vigour. The crown, naturally enough, 
appointed to the episcopal thrones men whose sympathies 
were with the royal prerogative rather than with the 
popular right. The Episcopacy, from having been the 
ornament of the Christian Church, became her clisOTace. 
Prelates fawned on the monarch who had lifted them into 
their thrones, and suffered them to trample with impunity 
on the liberties of their subjects. And in his turn the 
sovereign put his sword at the disposal of the Church for 
the extermination of heretics. 

What can be more humiliating than to see the Council of 
Toledo craving leave of the king to rob Jewish parents of 
their children, that they might be brought up Christians, 
and then pronouncing Anathema JMaranatha against any 
man who should be so presumptuous as to propose marriage 
to the queen, should his gracious majesty die before her and 
thus leave her a widow ! 

Few scenes in history are so instructive as that in the 
Olive garden, wdien Simon Peter smote off the ear of Malchus. 
He, the chief of the apostles, the representative of the 





2IO CHRISTIANITY 



Church, had armed himself with the sword. The moment 
of trial came. The brave champion of Christ brandished 
his weapon, and the tip of an ear fell to the ground. Surely 
that scene should be a lasting lesson to the Church, that 
the assumption of the sword by its pastors must ever be 
inefficient and ever contemptible. The tribunal of the 
Church is man's heart, and conscience the sole executor of 
her mandates. 

Throughout the Middle Ages individual liberty was 
scarcely recognized except by the great theologians of 
the Church ; it was a theory, a principle, but was never 
practised. 

The Church had been too deeply engaged in symbolizing 
the beliefs of the world and rectifying them by the Absolute, 
for her to pay much attention to the rights of man. 

She had been prevented from doing so by her union with 
the State on one side, and on the other by the growtli of 
the theocratic system within her bosom. 

She did worse than forget these rights, she trampled on 
them, and brought her subjects into a condition of bondage 
far more terrible than that of heathenism ; for she chained 
thought which in the slave had been free. 

Morals, physics, politics, religious dogmas, rested on 
authority. A system of ethics had been deduced syllogis- 
tically from the sacred writings, to be applied by rules of 
casuistry. Political principles were derived from the same 
source. The human mind had its rule in the decisions of 
the Churcli or of the approved doctors on every subject. 
Thought and action which were not according to norm were 
put down with the strong hand. 

Then came a change. A warm breath passed over that 
frozen sea in which thought lay stiff and stark, like Ugolino, 
in the icy fetters of an unbending orthodoxy. The emanci- 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 211 

pation of Individualism, wliicli had been arrested, was re- 
commenced. 

One morning I passed a road-maker at work. A spring 
had bubbled up in the middle of the hard-trodden path, 
and the workman was engaged in beating stones into its 
bore and choking it with clay and gravel. He triumphed 
— the spring had disappeared, and I continued my course. 
But in the evening, on my return, after the road-maker had 
left his task for the rest of night, I found the water 
bubbling up once more, busily undoing his work, rolling 
away one stone, then another, clearing its throat and purify- 
ing its channel. 

It was a picture of Christianity. Throughout the Middle 
Ages cart-loads of rubbish had been emptied into the open 
fountain of man's individuality, it had to all appearance 
been choked, and the way was stamped hard over it. But 
in the sixteenth century it broke out again, and it is running 
still. It has not yet accomplished its work however, it has 
left undone much that has to be done, and it has done much 
that it ought not to have done. 

Theory had taken the precedence over observation in 

the Natural Sciences, which had been elaborately piled up 

into a gorgeous fabric of fantastic extravagance. Scientific 

fancies were accepted on the authority of Galen, Pliny, S. 

Isidore, and Peter Lombard, and taught dogmatically in the 

schools — 

" Those ancient homesteads of error, 

Where the old falsehoods moulder and smoulder, 
And yearly by many hundred hands 
Are carried away in the zeal of youth, 
And sown like tares in the fields of Truth, 
To blossom and ripen in other lands." 

Leonardo da Vinci, long before Bacon, laid down the 
maxim that experience and observation must be the founda- 



212 CHRISTIANITY 



tion of all reasoning in science ; that experiment is the only 
interpreter of nature, and is essential to the ascertainment 
of its laws. This was the commencement of the movement 
in Natural Philosophy ; it was followed by the publication of 
a work on the principles of equilibrium by Stevinus, in 1586. 
Six years later Galileo's treatise on Mechanics appeared, a 
fitting commencement to his brilliant career of astronomical 
discovery. 

When Halley's comet had drawn its line of light over the 
sky in 1456, Europe was panic-struck. Calixtus II. issued 
his ecclesiastical fulminations ; but the comet pursued its 
course undeterred by the thunder of the monarch of the 
three realms. Among the clergy there were, however, those 
who had more correct cosmic ideas than Calixtus. Cardinal 
de Cusa ventured to adopt the heliocentric theory in 
opposition to the authority of the Church, which had affixed 
its imprimatur to the geocentric theory. 

But Copernicus, the Dane, was the first boldly to refute 
the received doctrine. Bruno of ISTola advanced to the 
conception of every star being a sun, with opaque planets 
in revolution around it. For teaching the rotation of the 
earth he had to flee to Switzerland from his Dominican 
convent, and thence to England, whence also he was driven 
for his heresy. Seized by the Inquisition, and burnt alive at 
Home in 1600, he died with his torturers' jeers in his ears, 
bidding him go to the imaginary worlds he had so hereti- 
cally feigned. 

" If the doctrine of Copernicus be true, the planet Venus 
ought to shew phases like the moon, which is not the case;" 
so had said the objectors to the heliocentric theory. 

Galileo made a telescope, and for ever settled the ques- 
tion, by shewing that the expected phases do actually 
exist. In the garden of Cardmal Bandini at Eome, in 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 213 

10 11, Galileo publicly exhibited tlie spots upon the sun. 
He had observed them the preceding year. Goaded on by 
the opposition his astronomical discoA^eries were bringing 
upon him, he published a tract to shew that the Scriptures 
were not intended as a scientific authority. He was 
sentenced by the Inquisition for having taught that the 
earth moves, and that the sun is stationary ; and fearing 
the fate of Bruno, he recanted. Condemned again in 
1637, for reaffirming his convictions, he was thrown into 
the prisons of the Inquisition, where he lost sight and 
hearing, and dying, was refused burial in consecrated 
ground. 

But the work was done, experience had been proclaimed 
the basis of science, and authority was overthrown. 

The reform of Luther was another insurrection of indi- 
vidualism against an oppressive authority. In tliat lay 
tlie secret of its success. The human spirit felt its need 
of expansion after long compression. It was not the love 
of novelty and change which wrought that mighty con- 
vulsion, the doctrines of the reform were not new, they 
were identical, as far as they went, with those held by the 
Catholic Church ; but the reforming movement responded to 
a demand for liberty, indistinct, scarcely expressed, ob- 
scurely felt, perhaps, but it was through that that the 
movement obtained its impetus, in spite of the contradic- 
tions of its chiefs, their vagaries and outrageous follies, and 
in opposition to the prevision of philosophers who weighed 
only the doctrines they professed. 

The Eeformation marked the outbreak of individualism 
against authority in the order of dogma. Everything know- 
able being at that time matter of faith, reason was forced to 
attack the principle of authority in its citadel. 

What matters it that the promoters of that convulsion 



'■ 1 4 CHRISTIANITY 



liad, at the uutsetj but a A'ague idea of their purpose ? The 
history of the Reformation shews us that its governing spirit 
was not criticism, but the passion for liberty. 

The onward movement was arrested for a while by the 
Eeformers taking their stand upon the authority of the 
Bible. They opposed the hypothesis of the Book to that 
of an incorporated society. But the cii'cle of liberty has 
been constantly enlarging beyond the limits of the sacred 
text, within whicli only, a dead remnant devoid of power 
remain entrenched, and consume one another with their 
faction fights, like the Jews in the Holy City on the eve 
of its fall. 

The work of Luther was thus the establishment of private 
judgment as the measure of religious truth. 

Tlie work was carried on in another field by Descartes. 
Descartes, groping about him for some character which 
should give reality to his thought and his existence, and 
finding none other except the double fact of thought and 
existence, whose evidence was irresistible, was led to make 
this evidence the sign of all certainty. " Having remarked," 
said he, " that there is nothing in this : 1 thinlx, therefore 
I am, which assures me that I say the truth, unless I see 
very clearly that to think I must be, I judged that I might 
assume, as a general rule, that the things which we conceive 
very clearly and very distinctly are all true, but that there 
is some difficulty in distinguishing which are those we 
conceive distinctly."^ And again, " I am assured that I 
am a thing that thinks ; but do I not also know what is 
requisite to make me certain of anything ? Certainly, in 
that knowledge there is nothing which assures me of the 
truth, except the clear and distinct perception of what 
I say, which perception of truth would not be sufficient to 

^ Discours de la methode, 4*^ partie. 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 215 

assure me that what I say is true, if it could ever happen 
that something I conceived equally clearly and distinctly 
should prove false. Nevertheless it seems to me that 
already, I can establish as a general rule, that all things 
which we conceive very clearly and very distinctly are true." ^ 

Such is the grand modern principle, which, applied to 
morals and politics, was to produce a complete revolution. 
It would he to exaggerate the glory of Descartes to attri- 
bute to him a knowledge of the various applications which 
were to be made of a rule so fecund in results. 

Thus, whilst the Reformation subjected the interpreta- 
tion of Scripture and matters of faith to private judgment, 
Descartes, putting these things on one side, gave to private 
judgment the compactness of a formula, and the authority 
of a demonstrated verity. He reduced to the last precision 
that principle, vaguely felt and worldng in a cloud during 
the Eeformation; but he displaced its centre and changed 
its application. 

The principle of Descartes is emphatically the principle 
of liberty. Liberty is the power of taking a determination 
and of conforming one's actions to it. In psychology, 
liberty is confounded with will, for the question of know- 
in <z whether I am free is no other than that of knowing if 
1 can exert my will, and this again is no other than the 
principle of assertion of individuality. 

When Descartes makes evidence the rule of his judgment 
and of mine, he recognises that he and I can judge. The 
principle of evidence, supposing the faculty of judging and 
assuring the exercise of judgment, is therefore that of 
liberty, just as the principle of authority is its opposite, 
taking from me my own power of judging and forcing my 
acquiescence in a superior judgment. 

^ Meditations touchant la pliilosopliie premiere, 2°*° med. 



2i6 CHRISTIANITY 



Tliis Iraitlul princi}>le of liberty, which is only tlie prin- 
ciple of reason, arid which must not he confounded with 
caprice, was sure to be transported sooner or later into the 
region of moral philosophy. 

A century passes, and Eousseau with vigour lays down 
this principle as the groundwork of morality. Instead of 
seeking, like the Scottish school, the principle of good out- 
side the individual, in utilitarianism, Eousseau found it in 
himself, — in the moral conscience. " I do not draw the 
rides which I prescribe to myself," says he to the Savoyard 
vicar, " from the principles of high philosophy, but I find 
them written by nature in ineffaceable characters at the 
bottom of my heart. I have only to consult myself on 
what I wish to do : all that I feel to be good is good, all 
that I feel to be bad is bad : the best of all casuists is the 
conscience. Conscience is the voice of the soul, the pas- 
sions are the voice of the body. Conscience cannot be 
deceived ; it is the true guide of man — it is an innate prin- 
ciple of justice and virtue, upon which, in spite of our 
maxims, we measure our actions and those of others as 
good or bad, and it is to this principle that I give the name 
of conscience."^ 

Thus Eousseau completed the reaction inaugurated by 
Descartes against Scholasticism. He committed the judg- 
ment of the actions of men to the individual sense, dis- 
engaged from all the subtleties of a false science ; he main- 
tained a tradition which, beginning with Leonardo da Vinci 
through the Eeformation, and carried on by Descartes, was 
to complete its course in the French Eevolution. 

From morals to politics is an easy passage. One would 
have supposed that Eousseau, having sought the principle 
of morality within, would have discovered there also the 

^ Emile, lib. iv. 



CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY 217 

principle of right, liiit he did not do so. In his famous 
Contrat Social, he subjected individual right to tlie sover- 
eignty of number, constituted, it is true, by the will of all. 
The social man possesses rights only that he may abdicate 
them ! 

But the National Assembly did that which Eousseau had 
misdone. To its constitution it prefixed its famous declara- 
tion of " The Eights of Man." Before the French Eevolu- 
tion, the governing power had its obligations, but the 
governed were without rights. 

The principle of individual right recognised, the condem- 
nation of the ancient order of things followed. Undoubted- 
ly that famous declaration does not contain a complete 
doctrine ; but if the Constituent Assembly did not rise to 
the idea of duties as the correlative of rights, the reason 
is that a scientific system cannot be produced by an 
assembly. But it did its work. It introduced into the 
world of facts what hitherto had not left the domains of 
pure speculation. 

To sum up in few words the substance of this chapter. 

Liberty is necessary for the development of individuality. 

Liberty is the faculty of exercising freely man's inalien- 
able rights. 

Before Christ came those rights w^ere not recognised, the 
only right known being authority, founded on force. 

By the Incarnation man's rights are based on dogma, 
and their exercise is a religious necessity. 

The liberty to exercise them had been disallowed through- 
out the Middle Ages by the growth in Christendom of a 
theocracy, and through the union of Church and State. 

The emancipation of liljerty begun with the preaching of 
the Gospel, but interrupted during the INIiddle Ages, was 



21 S CHRISTIANITY 



recommenced in the sixteenth centiiiy, and has been cun- 
tiniied ever since. 

The development of the principle of individualism, or in 
other words of liberty, has passed through five stages : — 

1. Leonardo da Vinci made the individual judgment the 

appreciator of scientific facts. 

2. Luther made that same judgment the criterium of 

religious, i.e. of sentimental, dogmas. 

3. Descartes made private judgment the basis of philo- 

sophic certainty. 

4. Eousseau founded morality on the individual con- 

science. 

5. The Prench Eevolution established politics on indi- 

vidual right. 

Thus the work which ought to have been done by the 
Church has been begun, and is in progress, outside of her. 

Tliat work flows logically from the Incarnation, as logi- 
cally as do the religious and moral dogmas of Christianity ; 
if the movement has been abrupt and often disastrous in 
its consequences, the reason is to be found in its having 
been wrought apart from the Church, that is, through a 
negative, instead of a co-ordinative process. 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 219 



CHAPTEE XIII 

THE SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCAllNATION 

"Sail on ! " it says, "sail on, ye stately ships, 

A fid with your floating bridge the ocean span ; 
Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse, 

Be yours to bring viaii nearer unto man." — Longfellow. 

Tlie Ideal Man must liave a double aspect, individual and social — The social 
Christ is the Church — a necessary consequence of the Incarnation — The 
characteristics of the individual Christ must also characterize the social 
Christ — The marks of the Church — the marks also of its members — The 
Communion of Saints a consequence — The organization of the Church — 
The object to be secured by organization is the preservation of all rights 
— The Church contains the ideally best organization — The election of 
bishops — essential to the welfare of the Church — the assembly of 
councils also essential — The State interferes and assumes the riglit of 
nominating bishops — The history of the struggle in France — Had not 
the rights of the Church been invaded there would have been no 
Papacy, no ecclesiastical tyranny, no Eeformation — Summary of argu- 
ment and conclusion. 

MAN is individual and social. The perfect man is he 
whose individuality is most completely developed, 
and whose solidarity is also most completely developed. 

Christ, according to the Christian hypothesis, is the 
ideal man. 

Therefore He is the ideal of individuality and solidarity. 
Therefore Christ must exist as a man individually, and as 
a society universally. 



220 CHRISTIANITY 



There must be tlie personal Christ, the ideal man, and 
there must be the social Christ, the ideal society. 

The Incarnation necessitated the Church. Destroy the 
idea of the Church and you lop the dogma of the Incarna- 
tion of lialf its reality, you make it inconsequent. 

If we have an ideal of a perfect man, we have an ideal 
of a perfect society ; and if Christ be the satisfaction of our 
wants, we must find in Him the ideal society as well as the 
ideal personality. 

That we have such an ideal, none can deny ; every one 
has a theory of government, and a theory is the develop- 
ment of a preconceived ideal. The sentiment of liberty 
and the desire for order are the principle of every govern- 
ment, and we must find this satisfaction in Christ. 

Every form of government the world has seen has been 
an idol of the ideal which shall harmonize and balance 
authority and liberty. INIen have tried patriarchal govern- 
ment, theocracies, monarchies, aristocracies, democracies, 
intelligent despotisms, constitutional royalties, and none 
have proved completely satisfactory. In a lifetime men 
will sway from ane extreme to another ; we have seen it 
in France, one day a republic, next day imperialism. 

Through all the aberrations of the human mind and 
the Utopias of socialism, the pursuit of the ideal is con- 
spicuous. 

" Ordo ducit ad Deum," said one of the greatest geniuses 
of the Church and of Humanity. Order is necessary for 
man, for Avithout it his liberty is not assured to him, and 
without his liberty he cannot accomplish his destiny. 

If there be a society of Christ, a prolongation of His 
personality, it must be organized, so as not to be a house 
divided against itself, but in unity. 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 221 



As God is immanent in the world, keeping all the 
varieties of being in it bound into an indissoluble whole, 
so Christ is immanent in the Church, gathering all differ- 
ences into one entirety and operating continually the reno- 
vation of the spiritual creation. 

Keligion, as its name implies, is a tie uniting man with 
man and all men with God. That tie is charity, which is 
represented as double, love towards our fellows and love 
towards God. 

The assertion that "outside the Church is no safety," 
means that outside of truth is no truth. Truth is, in 
itself, eternal, immutable, and infinite, like life. This in- 
finite verity is therefore in God, it is God Himself mani- 
fested, or the Word incarnate. What is the Church ? It 
is Jesus Christ, the social Man, existing wherever there is a 
sparkle of truth. Wherever there is trutli there is Christ, 
wherever Christ is there is the Church, the circle moves 
with its centre. Consequently, " outside the Church is no 
safety," means nothing more nor less than that apart from 
truth is nought but error. 

I said that Christ was the centre and the circumference 
of all truth. He is the centre in His personality. He is the 
circumference in His Church. 

Wherever truth is, there is the Church, I have said. 
Let us now see what are the characteristics of the Church, 
which is the body of Christ, inasmuch as it is the body of 
all who are members of Christ, and all are members of 
Christ who hold a truth and do not break or ignore the 
link that attaches them to the Absolute. 

The Church has the marks of unity, sanctity, catholicity, 
apostolicity, and infallibility. Such, at least, are the marks 
attributed to her by all Catholic theologians. 

If these be the characteristics of the Incarnate Word, 



222 CHRISTIANITY 



they must also be tlie marks of the Church, which is Him- 
seK in a social aspect, and what is more, they will also be 
the ideal of perfection for every man who is a member of 
the Church. These are consequences rigidly following one 
another. Christ is not here and the Church there, bat the 
Church is the exterior manifestation of Christ in all ages, 
and everywhere. In whatever world there are intelligent, 
pure, and lovely beings, the assembly of these beings, or 
their Church, can be the manifestation of the Word alone. 
" The Church triumphant, militant, and suffering, wherever 
it may be and whenever it may be, is but the triple face 
and action of the Word, always indivisible. One can see, 
therefore, that the characteristics of the Church must be the 
characteristics of the Incarnate Word, immanent in lier."^ 

Tlie Divine Word having taken possession of humanity 
by aU its phases of being, by body and spirit, by reason 
and feeliug, by its justice and its love, they are united by 
Him into one, as the ^^'orld is an unity though filled with 
multiplicities of operation, mineral, vegetable, and animal 
existences, modes of force and forms of matter. 

Everything in Christ is, as we have shewn, brought into 
an indissoluble unity through the union of the finite with 
the infinite, the divine with the human. Therefore Unity 
is the essential and constitutive characteristic of the 
Church. 

This unity embraces all men, all ages, all lands, it 
extends beyond time into eternity, it is at once reposing in 
heaven and militant on earth. This unity, embracing all, 
is called Catholicity or universality. 

But this catholic unity is only the manifestation of the 
holiness of God, either in Himself or in His creatures. 
The Word is the expression of that absolute perfection. 

1 Gabriel : Le Christ et le monde, p. 28. 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 223 

He manifests it not only in His terrestrial life as an histori- 
cal personage, at Bethlehem and on Calvary, but also in 
all the saints of tlie old law, in all those leading good lives 
among the heathen, in the saints of the new law, in all 
Christians who perpetuate it. He manifests it by His 
perfect justice and perfect love, held by Him in equilibrium. 
Every sanctity, every perfection is in Him who is the 
ideal of perfect relations. 

The imitation of Him and the realization of that ideal 
which destroys all sin, that is all conflict and opposition, 
constitute the Holiness of the Church. 

Unity, universality, and sanctity, are only the charac- 
teristics of the Word, manifested in the Church, in which 
they are perpetuated, because He received a divine mission, 
and He is thus marked with the ministry of apostleship, 
which, though transmitted from generation to generation 
from His hands, does not cease to be the sole priesthood of 
Christ, continued through His Apostles. Whatever there 
was in Him is and must be perpetuated. If there was 
holiness in Him, that mass of gold must be drawn out into 
eternity. If in Him there w^as justice, that must remain 
stamped for ever on the brow of humanity; for Christ is 
not the person only, but the universal Man as well. So 
also, if Christ was a priest, the priesthood must be for ever, 
not merely in Himself in heaven, but among men. It is 
this prolongation of His sacerdotal office which constitutes 
the Apostolicity of the Church. 

One holy, catholic and apostolic, the Church is always 
the exteriorization of the Word, in whom are contained all 
the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God. As 
the Word is God, He is the Divine Truth, the immutable 
and eternal Word of God, the indefectible Verity. Infalli- 
bility is, therefore. His characteristic, whether He be in 



224 CHRISTIANITY 



the bosom of the Father, or whether He speaks to men, 
through His Body, which is the Chm'ch. Consequently, 
infallibility is assured to the Church. 

Thus all the characteristics of the society are character- 
istics of the Individual Christ. In this Body, each of its 
members must participate more or less in the prerogatives 
of the whole ; each faithful must bear in him the marks of 
Christ. He must be one, holy, catholic, apostolic, and. 
infallible, through the unity, sanctity, universality, apos- 
tolicity, and infallibility of Jesus Christ manifest in 
him. 

I have already shewn that the mark of man's high calling 
is to emphasize his own personality, to liberate himself — 
that which is really himself— from all bonds, and constitute 
his individuality in the face of all men, and in the face of 
God, but without opposing it to other personalities, or 
ignoring the personality of God. By this distinguishing of 
himself, man becomes one, by so doing without invading 
the riohts of others he becomes catholic ; in this universal 
unity he continues the apostolic mission of Christ, which 
consists in reproducing the ideal in himself, as enjoined by 
his Master, "Be ye perfect, as your Father which is in 
heaven is perfect," and thus becoming himself Jioly, and 
inspiring others with a love of the same perfection. And 
he will be infallible in all that conies under the determina- 
tion of his judgment, not infallible in contradicting the 
determinations of others, but in his positive convictions and 
logical conclusions. 

Thus, every one of the faithful is an individual irradia- 
tion of the Christ, as the Church is the collective manifes- 
tation of Him. Each man, though distinct from Christ, is 
nevertheless Christ. There is a multitude of members, 
and all, by that reciprocal communion, all — whether living 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 225 

or dead, all, whether of the past, the present; and indeed 
all who will be in the future, are but one. 

Such is the sublime mystery of love, which makes of 
One many, and of many One, the radiant image of the 
ineffable mystery of God in His essence, manifesting Him- 
self in all Plis creatures by the Word, which is the expres- 
sion of Himself 

If the Word were only God, the uncreate, He could not 
be the mediator between the creature and God. If He 
were only man, He could not link all men into an indis- 
soluble whole. But that union of the finite and the infinite, 
of the created and the uncreate, present everywhere, in 
heaven and in earth, binds the Church triumphant and 
the Church militant into one common life, which is none 
other than the life of Christ ; such is the doctrine of the 
communion of saints. 

That common union of an innumerable multitude of 
personalities in one life has its figure and its symbol in the 
visible world. What, in fact, is this universe but variety 
contained in an all-comprehending unity ? The distinction 
of individualities subsists in a permanent manner. There 
is no confusion between the mineral, the vegetable, and 
the animal, and reciprocally each species is distinct ; and 
so is each variety of plants and animals distinct from all 
other species and varieties. 

The nature, the form, and the properties of each remain 
invariable. Moreover, the individuality of each being of 
the same nature remains completely distinct. No tv\'o 
leaves are exactly alike, one rose is not to be confounded 
with another rose ; each gnat and each eagle is distinguish- 
able from each other gnat and eagle. And yet in the midst 
of all this permanence of individualities there is indivisible 
unity. The entire universe is but one body, and has but 

p 



226 CHRISTIANITY 



one life. The same substance composes the minerals, the 
plants, and the animals. The beauty and order of creation 
consists in the emphasizing of separate individualities and 
their unification in a mighty whole. 

" Nothing useless is, or low, 

Eacli thing in its place is best ; 
And what seems but idle show 

Strengthens and supports the rest."' 

So is it in the spiritual world. The work of each indi- 
viduality is the distinguishing of itself from every other 
individuality and from God, and yet maintaining the union 
of all individualities in one body through Christ. 

But in the physical life all is limited ; a being occupy- 
ing one place l)y that fact excludes all others ; a being- 
containing in itself a given quantity of matter excludes 
all others from the possession of the same matter. In the 
spiritual world the inverse is true; tlirough an intimate 
and profound communion all partake in wdiat belongs to 
one. We all partake in the fulness of Christ, and in the 
abundance of one another. This is solidarity and reversi- 
bility. None live apart from the common life of Christ, 
who is " all in all ;" none act but through Him, none think 
apart from His thought, none love but with His love ; life, 
action, thought, and love are seized on and produced ac- 
cording to the form of the personality of each, that they 
may be poured forth upon others ; this is the doctrine of 
the communion of saints. 

" As we have many members in one body, and all mem- 
bers have not the same office ; so we, being many, are one 
body in Christ, and every one members one of another."^ 
Christ is " the head over all things to the Church, 

^ Longfellow : The Builders. ^ Eoni. xii. 4, 5. 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 227 

which is His Body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in 
all."^ "For, as the body is one, and hath many members, 
and all the members of that one body, being many, are 
one body ; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all 
baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, 
whether we be Ijond or free ; and have been all made to 
drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, 
l)nt many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the 
hand, I am not of the body ; is it therefore not of the 
body ? And if tlie ear shall say. Because I am not the 
hand, T am not of the body ; is it therefore not of the body ? 
If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing ? 
If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling ? But 
now hath God set the members every one of them in the 
body as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one 
member, where were the body ? But now are they many 
members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto 
tlie hand, I have no need of thee : nor again, the head to 
the feet, I have no need of you. N^ay, much more, those 
members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are 
necessary; and those members of the body, which we 
think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more 
abundant honour ; and our uncomely parts have more 
abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no 
need ; but God hath tempered the body together, having 
given more abundant honour to that part which lacked ; 
tliat there should be no schism in the body ; but that 
the members should have the same care one for another. 
And whether one member suffer, aU the members suffer 
with it ; or one member be honoured, all the members re- 
joice with it. NoAV ye are the Body of Christ, and mendoers 
in particular." 2 

1 Eph. i. 22, 2.3. 2 1 fto,. ^ii 12-27. 



228 CHRIS TIANIJ V 



I pass now to tlie organization of the social Christ — the 
Church. Organization there must he, or there would be 
no society. 

The ideally best form of government is that in which 
organization and function combine to secure, in the highest 
degree, the well-being and happiness of the individual 
citizen. Man being a social animal, government of some 
sort is necessary. For man has rights which others are 
constantly disposed to infringe, and the infringement of 
rights is the dissolution of society. 

For the preservation of the bond, government is required. 
In itself, all human government is an evil, but it is a neces- 
sary evil. As to organization, that is the best in which the 
sovereign power is vested in the aggregate of the com- 
munity, each citizen having a share in the making, and a 
share in the application, of the la^YS. It has taken Europe 
many centuries of bitter experience to learn this, and all 
Europe has not learned it yet. 

Now the Church was the first corporate body to set an 
example of a representative government, and it is no matter 
of surprise that despotism should have hated the sight, and 
have forced on the Church an alteration of her constitution. 
To that alteration of her constitution we must attribute 
the evils which accrued to religion in the Middle Ages, 
and from whicli it is not clear at the present day. 

Whenever government is in the hands of a section of the 
community, it will be used to promote the interests of that 
section, and to the detriment of outsiders. When the 
supreme power is monopolized by one, as in despotism; by 
a few, as in aristocracies ; or by tlie many, as in existing 
democracies ; separate interests are created for the one, the 
few, or the many, and are brought into opposition with the 
interests of the whole. 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 229 



All this was obviated in the early constitution of tlie 
Church. So struck were some of the pagan emperors with 
the Church system, that one, more keenly alive to the social 
influence of Christianity than others, declared that he had 
rather hear of the revolt of a province than of the election 
of a bishop ; whilst another, more liberal-minded, ordered 
that the praetors should be chosen by the people by 
vote, in the same manner as the Christians elected their 
bishops. 

As every man has natural wants, so has every man 
spiritual requirements. As there is a tendency in one 
man to encroach on the natural riohts of his neio;hbours, 
so is there a tendency in one man to deny the spiritual 
rights of his neighbours ; this, the Protestant spirit, the 
setting up of the " I-myself " as the rule for every one else, 
is the great danger to the unity and concord of religious 
humanity. 

To preserve to all men their prescriptive religious 
rights, to prevent one man from trampling on the con- 
victions of another man, an organization is necessary 
which shall represent all men. If it be the representative 
of a few it is a religious aristocracy, if of one it is a 
theocracy. 

The only possible mode of conciliating all rights, and of 
assuring to all men the free expression of their religious 
wants, is to intrust to all the election of their officers. 
Then the officer is responsible to all, he is the representative 
of all. 

This is precisely the scheme of self-government adopted 
by the Church. JSTo other scheme could comport with the 
object of the organization ; nay, more, every other scheme 
must violate some rights, and allow the few or the many to 
constrain those who did not see or feel as themselves. 



230 CHRISTIANITY 



The Clmrcli was a city (civitas) organized on the soundest 
basis of common advantage. Every member was an elector. 
The bishops were chosen by tlie vote of the people, but the 
election was confirmed by the bishops of the province. 
On the death of a bishop, the clergy and laity of the diocese 
proceeded to elect a successor. They then presented their 
candidate to the metropolitan, who convened the bishops 
of the province, and submitted the nominee of the diocese 
to their aj)proval. The concuii'ence of the bishops was 
required because the new prelate would act officially with 
them, and the theory of the ecclesiastical constitution was, 
that all who had anything to do with the officer should 
have a voice in his nomination. Thus, the prelate repre- 
sented neither the laity exclusively, nor the priests alone, 
nor the episcopal interest only. 

If it be necessary for the ideally best social organization, 
that every member should be represented, and he is repre- 
sented if he exercises a vote ; it is also necessary for the 
promulgation of its laws, for the ventilation of its wants, 
and for the preservation of its discipline, that its repre- 
sentatives should meet for discussion and for determininQ- 
the laws and usages of tlie society. And that, and that 
alone, can be the mode in which the society will speak 
authoritatively. CEcumenical Councils are therefore another 
first requisite for the well-being of the society. 

When any matter of difficulty or doubt arose in a diocese, 
a synod was called, in which it was discussed and decided 
by the vote of the majority. If, however, the matter 
affected the neighbouring dioceses, a provincial convocation 
was summoned, and in it the matter was ventilated, and 
argued, and finally voted upon. If, however, the whole 
Church was interested in the question, the whole Church 
met to debate it by its representatives in a General Council, 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 231 

wliich was thus the voice of the whole Church, that is of 
Christ in His social aspect. And because Christ, individual 
or social, must be infallible, therefore the decision of an 
Qi^cumenical Council, accepted by the wdiole Church, is 
infallible. 

For convenience in legislation, the bishoprics were 
grouped into provinces, and the provinces into patriarchates ; 
but such arrangement was dx 'bene esse alone. Thus the 
archbishop exercised jurisdiction by the voluntary assent 
of the bishops constituting his province, and the patriarch 
was the freely chosen head, primus inter 'pares, of a cluster 
of archbishoprics, which voluntarily submitted to his rule. 
The thirty-third canon of the Apostolic Constitutions lays 
down the doctrine of primacy thus : " It behoves the bishops 
of every people to know who among them is to be held as first, 
whom they may esteem as their head, TrpwTov oi's Kec^aA^jv, 
and they are not to do anything without the knowledge of 
all, that there may be unanimity." The Council of Antioch, 
reviewing this canon, gave the name of metropolitan to the 
first bishop in each province : " It behoves the bishops of 
each province to know which bishop is to be metro- 
politan" (Can. 9). The Council of Laodicsea named the 
metropolitan as president at the election of bishops (Can. 
12). 

The thirteenth canon of Laodicwa (360-70) enjoins that 
the selection of the bishop is to be made by the people over 
whom he is destined to bear rule. The tenth canon of the 
Council of Rome, held under Innocent I., alludes to the same 
practice which prevailed in the patriarchal see. The 
Council of Milevis having deposed Maximinianus, Bishop 
of Vaga, sent letters to the people of that diocese to elect 
his successor. The Council of Carthage, in 407, ordered 
that when a body of heretics joined the Church, they should 



CHRISTIANITY 



elect a bishop to jDresicle over them, unless they were 
resident in an already constituted diocese. 

The Council of Constantinople, in 861, decreed in its 
twenty-second canon, that kings and great men have no 
authority or right to nominate patriarchs, metropolitans, or 
bishops, but that it is their duty to recognize tliose who 
have been cauonically chosen. 

In tlie fifth century Poj)e Zosimus condemned the 
usurpation of two bishops who had been consecrated without 
the suffrages of their dioceses (Ep. ?>), Celestine I. wrote 
to the bishops of France, that no one was to be made bishop 
without the consent of the clergy and people and senate. 
S. Leo, in his 89th Epistle, lays down the same rule as 
being one that prevailed throughout the universal Church, 
and he says, " Qui prtefuturus est oraniljus ab omiiibus 
eligatur." A similar statement occurs in several of the 
letters of S. Gregory the Great ; and again we find Gregory 
VII., the famous Hildebrand, insisting on the same rule as 
late as 1076. 

It was not without a struggle that the Crown wrested 
from the Church her rights, and it did so only by brute 
force. The history of the subjection of the Church in 
France will illustrate what took place in other countries as 
well. The second Council of Aries (circ. 445) ordered 
that the ancient rule should be somewhat modified in the 
French Church; that the metropolitan and the bishops 
should nominate three candidates, and propose these three 
to the clergy and people, who should elect one of them. 

The second Council of Orleans (533) ordained in its 
seventh canon, that the metropolitan of the province should 
be elected by the laity and clergy of the diocese and by the 
bishops of the province conjointly, and that the bishops 
should consecrate him. 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 233 

The Council of Clermont (535) decreed that none should 
rise to the episcopal or archiepiscopal office by ambition, 
but solely by his merits ; that holiness of life, and not 
wealth, should render him eligible, and that advancement 
to the sacred office should not be due to the favour of a 
few, but to the suffrages of all; that he who was to be 
bisliop must of necessity be chosen by the clergy and 
people, and must be ordained by liis metropolitan, or with 
his consent. 

The second Council of Orleans, in repeating this old law, 
added that it was but right and reasonable that he who is 
to preside over men should be elected by them. 

The third Council of Paris (557) made the same rule, 
and protested that the Crown must not be suffered to wrest 
the right of nomination of bishops from those whom Catho- 
lic tradition and the practice of the universal Church had 
recognized as the true and lawful electors. 

The fifth Council of Paris (615) decreed that an appoint- 
ment to a vacant see made by other than the people and 
clergy, with the concurrence of the archbishop, should be 
null and void. King Clothaire, understanding that this 
canon was levelled against royal interference, refused to 
ratify it at first, and only yielded by adding a codicil of his 
own to the effect that the nominee must receive confirma- 
tion from the sovereign before the bishops might lawfully 
consecrate. 

In the third Council of Valence (855) it was declared 
that, to prevent the preferment of ignorant or unfit persons 
to bishoprics, the king should be petitioned to permit the 
people and clergy of the vacant diocese to elect their own 
bishop, and that should the king desire any one to be 
elected, he must submit his qualifications to examination 
by the canonical electors. 



234 CHRISTIANITY 



In or about 880, the Church of Beauvais having been 
vacant for some time, Archbishop Hincmar and the pre- 
lates of the province of Eheims proceeded to election, and 
chose one Odo. Tlie clergy and people had chosen another, 
named Odoacer, who had been rejected by the bishops as 
an incompetent person. The bishops, apprehending royal 
interference, wrote to the king, begging him not to meddle, 
but to leave the province to settle its OAvn ecclesiastical 
affairs, and stating that as soon as a bishop had been con- 
secrated he should be sent to the king to receive from him 
institution into the temporalities of the see, of which the 
throne was the guardian, as the Church was of the spiritu- 
alities. The king, Louis III., wrote sharply back, to say 
that it was his intention to govern ecclesiastical as well as 
civil matters, and that he ratified the nomination of the 
j)eople, Odoacer. 

Hincmar answered him, that the king had no authority 
to nominate, that, according to CathoKc rule, the nomina- 
tion lay with the people, the clergy, and the bishops, and 
he added that he, as metropolitan, should inhibit Odoacer, 
if the king persisted in intruding him into the diocese 
of Beauvais. Louis at once invested Odoacer with the 
revenues of the see, and Hincmar thereupon excommuni- 
cated him, and wrote a circular letter to all the priests and 
faithful of the diocese forbidding them to acknowledge the 
man appointed by the Crown. 

It seems that at one time a charge had been brought 
against this same Hincmar, that his appointment had been 
influenced by Court pressure ; and in one of his epistles he 
indignantly denies the charge, and declares that he was 
canonically elected by the votes of the people and priests 
of Eheims, and by the unanimous choice of the bishops of 
the province. 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 235 

The Capitularies of Louis the Godly (816) left the clergy 
and people their ancient liberty of choosing their bishops. 
The seventieth letter of Adrian II. (868) is addressed to 
the Bishop of Embrun, rebuking him severely for having 
consecrated a bishop to Vienne other than him who had 
received the suffrages of the diocese. 

In 950, Bishop Atto of Vercelli wrote a treatise on the 
persecutions and sufferings of the Church. He divides 
these into three, of which the second is the interference of 
the Crown with the election of bishops. He says that in 
his day princes had usurped a prerogative which was not 
theirs by the law of God nor of man ; that they violated 
the constitution, the inalienable rights, and the sacred 
liberties of the Church, by interfering with the appoint- 
ment of bishops. Kings appoint, not for virtue, but for 
wealth, parentage, and political services ; the proper quali- 
fications for the episcopal office in royal eyes are not holi- 
ness, love of the poor, zeal for God, but a bribe, a recom- 
mendation by some influential courtier, or relationship to 
a favoured statesman. 

The Council of Eheims, held in 104:9, before Pope Leo 
IX. on the occasion of his consecrating the abbey church 
of S. Eemi, passed a canon forbidding nominations made 
otherwise than by diocesan election. This council was 
convened because the Crown had in several instances 
usurped the nominations and had flooded the French 
Church with incompetent persons, and men who were mere 
courtiei'S and servants of despotism. 

By degrees the right of the people was refused, as the 

king assumed to represent the lay voice, and the clergy 

■ were considered as the proper electors ; then the right 

was withdrawn from the clergy generally and was limited 

to the chapter, which being nominated by the Crown 



236 CHRISTIANITY 



was filled with creatures of its own, who would not throw 
out the candidate recommended by the king. But in 1517 
a concordat was made between Francis I. aud Pope Leo 
X., in virtue of which the chapters were despoiled of this 
privilege, and the nomination was vested in tlie Crown, 
subject to the consent of the Holy See. The x)arliament of 
Paris refused to enregister this iniquitous bargain, till 
forced to do so by repeated orders of the king. Public 
prayers were offered up to obtain its abolition, and the 
States-General protested energetically against it, whilst 
the voice of the Church was silenced by the king for- 
bidding for the future the assembly of the decennial 
councils in which the Church had hitherto proclaimed her 
rights. 

The Crown having uncontrolled power over the Church, 
exercised this power to fill all benefices at its disposal with 
those whose interest in the welfare of religion was subor- 
dinate to their devotion to the State, and to crush out all 
liberty of opinion and freedom of action. 

In 1789, when the cahicrs were sent into the States- 
General containing the grievances of the nation, a repeal 
of this iniquitous law was demanded, and a restoration of 
the ancient rights of the Church. In the celebrated civil 
constitution of the Church drawn up in 1790, the nomina- 
tion of the bishops was restored to the Church, and was 
made by way of election. In two particulars alone did it 
contravene ancient precedent, and these were serious. It 
imposed no religious condition on the electors, so that 
Jews, Protestants, and infidels had votes equal in value 
to those of the Catholics. Thus, in Strasbourg, where 
Calvinists and Jews were in the majority, they would 
appoint the spiritual governor over the churchmen, a 
flagrant injustice. Also, those most immediately under the 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 237 



authority of the bishops, viz. the clergy, had no influence 
in directing the election, and could not vdo an unsuitable 
candidate. 

In 1802 the constitutional Church was overthrown, 
and the appointment to bishoprics was made by Napo- 
leon I. 

I have entered at some length into this subject of the 
constitutional character of the Church, because it is one 
essential to her well-being. Had this not been invaded by 
the State, there would have been no Papacy, no spiritual 
tyranny, and no Eeformation. 

There would have been no Papacy. 

When the Church was overborne with violence and the 
power of princes, she was obliged to seek an authority to 
oppose against secular interference. Pome became a power 
because a power was needed to counteract the growth of 
monarchical despotism. If there had been no invasion of 
Church rights, there would have been no appeal court. 
Spiritual tyranny was the outgrowth of the union of Church 
and State ; union is not the proper word, the defloration of 
the Church by the State. Nobly had the saints struggled to 
maintain independence for thought, and freedom from con- 
straint even for those in error. " Let us never be insolent 
when the times are favourable," had said S. Gregory Nazi- 
anzen, " let us not think of exiles and proscriptions, drag 
no one before the judge, let not the whip remain in our 
hands." ^ " Peligion," said Tertullian, "forbids to constrain 
any to be religious ; she would have consent, and not con- 
straint.""^ "I can be severe on you in nothing," wrote S. 
Augustine to the Manichsean heretics, " but I ought to bear 
with you now as I bore with myself at a former time, and 
1 Orat. V. 36, 37. ^ Ad Scapulam. 



238 CHRISTIANITY 



treat you with the same patience "wliich my neighbours 
shewed towards me, when, furious and blind, I stru"sled 
in your error." ^ S. Ambrose refused to communicate \\\\\\ 
the bishops who had persecuted the Priscillianists. S. 
Martin rejected the communion of those prelates in Spain 
who had wrested from the emperor an order to execute 
heretics. " If violence be employed to sustain the right 
faith," said S. Hilary,^ " the wisdom of the bishops must 
oppose it ; they must say, God will have no forced homage, 
what need has He of a profession of faith produced by 
violence ? He must be sought with simplicity, served by 
charity, honoured and gained by the honest exercise of our 
free will." " We cannot," said Cassiodorus in the name of 
Theodoric, " command religion, for no man can be made 
to believe against his will."^ 

That spiritual tyranny which caused the revolt of the 
sixteenth century could never have flung its upas branches 
far and wdde had there been no confusion of temporal 
with spiritual powers. The hateful union of Alexander 
the Sixth and Ferdinand the Catholic, gave birth to the 
Spanish Inquisition. For wdiat purpose ? To mow all 
religion flat. Every doctrine of the Eeformation is to be 
found in Catholicism, and it is idle to talk of the dogmas 
of Protestantism, of the Protestant faith as if in any point 
different and opposed to Catholicism. Every truth held 
by Lollard, Hussite, Lutheran, and Calvinist is found 
embedded in the creed of the Church. The sixteenth 
century was a period at which the production of these 
dogmas into prominence was essential to the welfare 
of religion. They were parts of the faith which had 
been overlapped, and w^ere growing sickly and stunted, 

' Epist. contra Manichseos. ^ Ad Constantin. i. 6. 

3 Cassiod. lib. ii. ep. 27. 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 239 

a clearance for tliem was necessary, that tliey might have 
air and sun. Had not Church and State been united, 
these dogmas would have gro\vn in their places and 
served to enhance the perfection of that flower carpet 
of belief with which the Church mantles the earth. 
There is no schism in the meadow ; the golden-cup, the 
daisy, the red-robbin, and the blue-bell flower side by 
side, and make a subtle splendour of colour. Why 
should daisy rage against golden-cup, and blue-bell insist 
on the eradication of red-robbin ? The Inquisition on 
one side and the Protestant reformers on the other 
thought otherwise. The Papacy declared, We will toler- 
ate beliefs only at a certain level, some shall be pushed 
out of sight, and others shall be flaunted in the glare 
of day, anathema to those who do not accept our deci- 
sion and keep justification by faith in the background 
and give prominence to salvation by works. The Eefor- 
mers declared. We will tolerate no more dogmas than 
three or four, said one ; five or six, said another ; anathema 
maranatha to those who hold other doctrines than those 
we authorize. So Alva butchers in cold blood all heretics 
who say three or four instead of ten or twelve, and 
William of Orange posts his soldiers beyond the cathedral 
doors of Haarlem to massacre the Catholics who have 
had the hardihood to keep the feast of Corpus Christi which 
is an abomination to Calvinists. 

There would have been no Eeformation. 

For the constitutional character of the Church would 
have saved the Church from falling into these abuses 
which demanded reformation. When the free circulation 
of the blood is impeded, congestion and mortification result ; 
so the disturbance of the relations of the members of the 
Church, and of the current vivifying all in one Life, 



240 CHRISTIANITY 



having been checked, corruptions were the necessary con- 
sequence, 

A more striking lesson from the liistory of Cliristianity 
can hardly be drawn than that indicated by the lapse of 
missionary enterprise from the hands of a state-fettered 
hierarchy into those of monasticism. The spirit of inde- 
pendence which had energized the Cliurch in her days of 
self-government was diverted at the dawn of the IMiddle 
Ages into another channel. Hitherto the hierarchy had 
been the power converting the world, but when it seated 
itself in golden fetters on the steps of the throne, it ceased 
to be a missionary agency, and Europe was converted by 
hermits and monks, men escaping from the slavery imposed 
on the priesthood and laity by a degenerate prelacy, that 
they might live together after the pattern of the primitive 
Church, obeying rules of their own adoption, and electing 
superiors to whom they might tender a free and cheerful 
obedience. 



To gather up in few words the substance of this chapter. 

I have sliewn that if Christ be the Ideal, He must be the 
ideal Society as well as the ideal Man. 

That ideal Society is the Church. It must have all the 
characteristics of Christ, for it is one with Him. 

Every member of the Society must participate more or 
less in the characteristics of Christ. 

His characteristics are unity, sanctity, universality, apos- 
tolicity, and infallibility. 

These are therefore characteristics of the Church, and 
more or less of each of its members, that is to say, 
they form the ideal each man is bound to endeavour to 
realize. 

The Church is the communion of saints, or in other 



SOCIAL ASPECT OF THE INCARNATION 241 



words it is tlie union of all who exercise tlieir functions 
in all times and places, bound into one by union with 
Christ. 

The Church being a society must be organized. 

Organization has for its object the assurance to every 
man of the recognition of his rights and liberties. 

Therefore every man must participate in the appointment 
of the superiors of this organization. 

Constitutional government is therefore of the essence of 
Church organization. 

The state has interfered by violence with this liberty, 
and the result has been a demoralization of the Church, 
ending in rupture or indifference. 

And I conclude, that till the union of Church and State 
is utterly annihilated, till, that is, moral authority and 
effective authority have been distinguished and. dissevered, 
the Churcli can never meet the requirements of mankind 
nor fulfil her mission in the world. 

As Christ individually suffered martyrdom by the 
princes of the world, so He, in His social capacity, has 
undergone His passion through the tyranny of the Crown 
exercised on His body, the Church ; may be, that Passion 
will shortly be over, and even as there took place, accord- 
ing to the Gospel, a resurrection of the Personal Christ, 
so we shall witness a resurrection of Christ in His social 
character. 

Far be it from me to assert that there is necessary 
opposition between the Church and the State. As long 
as the State confines the exercise of its authority to matters 
strictly within its sphere, and as long as the Church 
forbears from interference in political matters, there will 
be no clashing of interests. The office of the Church is 
to insist on the dogmatic basis of the rights of men, 

Q 



242 CHRISTIANITY 



and on the consequent equality of those rights. The 
office of the State is to maintain those rights inviolate. 
Among the primordial rights of man is that of spiritual 
independence. If the State invade this right, antagonism 
springs up. If the Church persuades the State to use 
compulsion, that is, to violate a spiiitual right — confusion 
is the consequence. 



THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 243 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 

' ' Chose Strange, giie Jious avoiis donne la libertS a tout le mondc, cxcepte a Dieu ! " — 

M. DE Lamartine. 

Moral and effective authority mutually destructive — A theocracy de- 
structive of the dogma of free-will — The Papacy and its results — Sub- 
ordination of temporal to spiritual authority — The separation of spiri- 
tual and temporal authorities — Temporal authority is justifiable wlien 
exercised in its own domain — but immoral when it invades religion — 
Spiritual authority can only devolve from God — Man cannot delegate 
it — because man cannot make another represent God to him — No moral 
obedience due to the temporal power when it invades spiritual rights — 
The representation of authority in the Church necessary — Tlie priest- 
hood necessary — Confusion of functions between priest, magistrate, and 
soldier ruinous to authority — Authority lodged in the whole Church — 
but devolves from Christ — it is absolute and it is limited — Ecclesiastical 
authority must be confined to the declaration of religious truths — In- 
fallibility resides in the whole body — Fallibility in negation — Are mem- 
bers of branch churches bound by negations ? — The duties of Catholics. 

IF the reader will recur to chapter iv., he will see that a 
distinction has been laid down between moral and 
effective authority. 

By moral authority is meant that authority which is 
persuasive, and to which obedience is morally due ; whilst by 
effective authority is meant that authority which is of force, 
and to which obedience is only due out of compulsion. 



244 CHRIS TIA NIT Y 



I have slieAvn that it is impossible to unite these tAvo 
authorities, because they mutually destroy each other. 

I have shewn that the action of God upon man is moral, 
and moral only; that by constituting man free, He has 
refused to exercise effective authority over him, and that an 
ecclesiastical or political society claiming Divine Authority 
must exercise moral authority only ; for the moment it 
exercises compulsion it ceases to represent God, and resolves 
itself into effective authority which is human, all human, 
and not at all Divine. 

In this chapter I propose to shew what is the bearing of 
the dogma of the Incarnation on this distinction between 
authorities, and how it conciliates what otherwise must 
remain conilicting. 

First, let us see whether a theocracy is deducible from 
the Incarnation. Almost all priesthoods have endeavoured 
to unite temporal power with spiritual power ; and when 
they have succeeded, a theocracy has been the result. 

Almost all governments, kings, emperors, and republics 
have endeavoured to unite the spiritual power with the 
temporal power ; and when they have succeeded, an auto- 
cracy has been the result. 

Theocracy is consequently an absolute government carried 
on in the name of the Absolute. 

An Autocracy is consequently an absolute government 
carried on in the name of the governmental will dominating 
the Absolute. 

Theocracy supposes, as its metaphysical principle, the 
co-action of God over man for the accomplishment of His 
law, since it exercises this co-action only by the name and 
the authority of God, for the execution of His designs. It 
is then, in principle, absolutely contradictory to the theory 
of free-will, which allows man to be at liberty to follow his 



THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 245 

own determinations in chosing that which is right or that 
which is wrong. It is based on a false relation between 
man and God. It is consistent only with a negation of free- 
will and a doctrine of fatalism. From it Hows a complete 
system of constraint. Man being no more free before God, 
is not free before His representative, the pope, the direct 
representative ; the king, the indirect representative, deriv- 
ing his authority by papal procuration, through institution, 
concordat and the like. 

This is tyranny elevated into divine necessity, since man 
not being free not to obey the law, the representative of 
God is not free not to exact obedience to it. Liberty of 
conscience is at a end ; for the representative of tlie Deity 
formulates what the conscience is to accept, and cuts oif all 
opportunities of expressing doiibt or disbelief, as sacrilege 
and profanity. Liberty of science is at an end ; for science 
runs counter to received religious dogmas ; it must do so, 
for religious dogmas are on one side of the world of truth, 
and scientific demonstrations are on the other side. As 
a theocracy is founded on dogma alone, it must wage per- 
petual war on science, which is founded on demonstration. 
The Inquisition is the logical consequence of a system of 
government in the name of a God of compulsion. 

The Papacy is the great Christian theocracy. Confusing 
moral authority with eifective authority, it was forced to 
abdicate the former, and resolve itself into a despotism 
over men's souls and bodies. Temporal sovereignties were 
subordinated to the spiritual sovereignty, which became the 
apex of a vast pyramid Aveigliing down humanity by Divine 
right. Nicholas II. (a.d. 1059) assumed this supremacy 
when he took upon himself to confirm the Duke of Calal)ria 
and Sicily in his possessions, for which the Duke swore 
fealty to the Pope. Alexander II. did likewise when lie 



246 CHRISTIANITY 



sanctioned William the Norman's invasion of England ; so 
did Alexander III. wlien he gave a grant of Ireland to 
Henry II. ; so did Innocent IV. when he bestowed the 
kingdom of Portugal on the Count of Bologna (1245). In 
1265, Pope Clement IV. sold the Southern Italians to 
Charles of Anjou for a yearly tribute of eight hundred 
ounces of gold, declaring that he should be excommunicate 
if the first payment were deferred, and that for the second 
neglect tlie whole nation would incur interdict, i.e. depriva- 
tion of sacraments and divine worship. 

The power that could confer coidd also take away. In 
107G, Gregory VII. deposed the Emperor Henry IV. from 
his throne, releasing his subjects from their allegiance, and 
urging the princes of Germany to elect a new emperor, in 
these words, " In behalf of Almighty God the Father, and 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost, I deny to Henry the govern- 
ment of the whole realm of Germany and Italy, and release all 
Christians from the bond of the oath which they have made 
or will make to him, and forbid any one to serve him as if he 
were a king." Alexander III. did the same to the Emperor 
Frederic I. in 1168; Innocent III. to the Emperor Otho IV., 
1210, and to King John in 1212; Gregory IX. in 1238, 
and Innocent IV. in 1245, did this to the Emperor Frederic 
II. ; John XXII. to Louis of Bavaria in 1333, and Pius V. 
to Queen Elizabeth in 1569. 

Another case exhibits the assumption of the twofold 
power of giving and taking away dominions in one and 
the same act. When the crusade against the Albigenses, 
authorized by the third Lateran Council (1179) had been 
accomplished, and Toulouse and the adjoining country had 
been wrested from the Count of Toulouse, it was a question 
what should be done with the conquered territory. The 
Pope's legates for a while held provisional possession of 



THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 247 

the country, until Innocent III. conferred it by bull on 
Simon de Montfort, and declared the Count of Toulouse for 
ever deprived of his rights to it. Boniface VII. wrote to 
King Edward I., that the kingdom of Scotland was the 
special property of the Koman Church, and that therefore 
he must not touch it. Innocent III. declared that God had 
ordained the Pope as Christ's Vicar, to have power "over 
all nations and kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, 
and to destroy, and to throw down, and to build, and to 
plant." 

The next Pope, Boniface VIII., bestowed Sardinia and 
Corsica upon James, King of Arragon, under condition of 
a yearly payment of 2,000 marks to the Apostolic Chair, 
by a decree beginning with these words, " Being set above 
kings and kingdoms by a divine pre-eminence of power, we 
dispose of them as we think fit," &c. In 1302 he published 
his famous bull " Unam Sanctam," which contains the 
following propositions : " We are taught by the words of the 
Gospel that there are in his (Peter's) power two swords, the 
spiritual and the temporal : — each, therefore, of these is in 
the power of the Church. — But one sword ought to be in- 
ferior to the other sword, and the temporal authority to be 
subject to the spiritual power. — For the spiritual power has 
to institute, and to judge the earthly power, if it be evil. — 
Therefore if the earthly power err, it will be judged by the 
spiritual power. But if the spiritual power err, the inferior 
will be judged by his superior. But if the highest err, no 
man, but God alone, will have power to judge it. — Moreover 
we declare, affirm, define, and pronounce, that it is altogether 
necessary to salvation that every human creature should be 
subject to the Eoman pontiff." 

The twenty-third proposition of the Syllabus of the 
present Pope, Pius IX., affirms that the Popes have never 



2 48 CHRIS TIA XI T V 



exceeded the bounds of tlieir power or usurped the rights of 
princes.'^ 

The twenty-fourth proposition of the Syllabus confirms 
to the Church the right of coercing obedience. As this 
coercion can only be exercised where tlie medicBval princijDle 
of subordination of the State to the Church is maintained, 
and as the number of governments upholding this principle 
are becoming yearly smaller, this proposition is but the 
sanctioning of centuries of barbarity, persecution, and viola- 
tion of rights. " Alas ! " says the Jesuit Schneemann, " the 
State does not always fulfil its duties towards the Church 
according to the divine idea, and, let us add, cannot always 
fulfil them, through the wickedness of men. And thus the 
Church's rights in inflicting temporal punishment and the 
use of physical force are reduced to a minimum."^ 

" It was from the spirit here manifested," says Janus, 
"that Pius IX. in 1851 censured the teaching of the 
canonist Xuytz, in Turin, because he allowed only the power 
of spiritual punishnient to the Church. And in the Con- 
cordat made in 1863 with the Eepublics of South America, 
it is laid down in the eighth Article, that the civil authori- 
ties are absolutely bound to execute every penalty decreed 
by the spiritual courts."^ 

The temporal sovereignty being subjected to the supre- 
macy of the Church, as the price of its vassalage the spiritu- 
ality gives it the power of promulgating civil and political 
laws. If the sovereignty be deposited in a monarchical 
government, the constitution must recognize in the Crown 
a fictitious infallibility, a divine right to do wrong with 

1 The Syllabus condemns the following pro])osition, " Komani Pontiiices 
et Concilia fficumenica a liniitibus sute potestatis recesserunt, jura Prin- 
cipum usurparunt. " 

^ Stimmen aus Maria Laach : Freiburg, 1867. 

3 Janus: The Pope and the Council, English trans. 1869, p. 11. 



THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 249 

impunity, and a chain of consequences follows. The royal 
power becomes hereditary, for peoples become property of 
the monarch like laud or cattle, to be left from father to 
sou. A privileged aristocracy to suj)port and give splen- 
dour to the throne, rejoicing in immunities and endowed 
with pensions, follows. Heresy is pursued as a crime. 
The duties of conscience are made legally obligatory when 
regarded as useful to the State. Kiohts of individuals 
disappear, and all \\\q on tlie bounty of the monarch, wdio 
is only responsible to the priest who reigns in the name of 
the Absolute, and who confided to him his stewardship. 

That such a theory hangs logically together there can be 
no question. AVlien doctrine is such that each of its parts 
exists as a condition of all, when all are co-ordinated, and 
suppose one another respectively, that doctrine has the 
highest degree of probability desirable ; for inconsequence 
is the penalty closest allied to error, as consequence is the 
most certain mark of truth. 

And if the dogma of man's free-will be denied, Papal 
supremacy in things temporal and spiritual is a complete 
and compact system from which there is no escape. 

But if free-will be admitted, Eoman Catholicism is incon- 
sistent. The Church has asserted, proved, defended, and 
suffered to maintain free-will, and yet during ten centuries 
she has practically denied its exercise by the theocracy of 
the Pope. She has admitted the social principles of serfage, 
of inequality, of absolutism, and of compulsion, and yet 
JTom her pulpits she has preached liberty, equality, and 
fraternity. These are holy words in a holy place, well 
enough in dogma, in metaphysics, and in ethics, but they 
are pernicious and false in politics and as social principles I 

The Church has placed man face to face with God, and 
has declared hjni to be free and responsible to God for all 



250 CHRISTIANITY 

his actions, and yet she refuses him liberty of conscience ! 
She has taught that all men spring from a common father, 
that all are redeemed by One into whose mystical body 
they have been grafted, and in which there is neitlier rank 
nor special privilege, and yet she has made some men 
slaves to others ! She has urged men to seek God wherever 
He may be found, and she has shut the door of science ! 

Her system has been an illogism. Her social and meta- 
physical principles do not accord. If we start from theo- 
cracy, we arrive at fatalism ; and slavery and compression 
are right. If we start from God willing man to be a free 
agent, we arrive at liberty of conscience, political, civil 
and religious liberty. 

"Spontaneously to God should tend tlie soul, 
Like tlie magnetic needle to the pole ; 
But what were that intrinsic virtue worth, 
Suppose some fellow, with more zeal than knowledge, 

Fresh from St. Andrew's College, 
Should nail the conscious needle to the north ?"i "^ 

If we destroy liberty in an intelligent and rational being, 
and who, being intelligent and rational, is free to exercise 
his intelligence and reason, we destroy the moral responsi- 
bility of his acts. We destroy the moral relations between 
him and God. We destroy free-will, which is the faculty of 
exercising that responsibility; we destroy the dogma of 
Grace, which supposes the effusions of supernatural power 
to enable man to accomplish those things for which he is 
responsible to God. 

But the dogma of free-will is at the very base of Chris- 
tianity. If tliat 1)e destroyed every other dogma goes with it. 

God leaves man perfectly free to abuse his liberty if he 
wills. Even when a man resolves on doino; what is wromx, 

1 Hood : Ode to Rae Wilson. 



THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 251 

committing a tlieft, an adultery, a murder, God does not 
withdraw from him the muscular power and force necessary 
to accomplish the crime ; on the contrary, the current of 
life from the Absolute continues unintermitted to the con- 
tingent even when he does that which is wrong. There is 
no attempt at constraint on G-od's part; man is entirely 
free to use or abuse God's gifts. 

But a theocracy endeavours to force a man to do what 
is right, in spite of God's witness against it. His autliority, 
nevertheless, is moral and not effective. 

And what is the link between God and man, and 
between man and his fellows. It is love. Can love be 
forced ? Can you make a man love God by threatening 
him with the galleys if he refuse, and make him love his 
neighbour on penalty of breaking on the wheel? Com- 
pulsion will make man hate God and religion, but per- 
suasion will make him love both. If the Church is to 
bring mankind, broken loose from her fold, escaped through 
her torn net, to the feet of God, it must not be with thun- 
derings and earthquakes and fires, but with the still small 
voice of persuasion. 

Nor is bribery much better than constraint. By making 
religion "worth while" to a man, you do not make him 
love it, you teach him to despise it. 

If a theocracy be a flagrant contradiction in Christianity 
to the first principles of Christianity, governmental auto- 
cracy, which makes the religion subserve the State, is not 
less so. 

In a theocracy, the pontiff derives his authority immedi- 
ately from God, and the king draws his authority mediately 
from God through consecration by the pontiff. Thus the 
king represents the Absolute to his subjects, and all to 



252 CHRISTIANITY 



whom lie conveys authority exercise in theory the authority 
flowing from God, the source of all authority. 

Since the Eeformation a new theory of governmental 
authority has been broached, upon which our modern 
sovereignties are based. This theory is the delegation of 
authority by the people to the monarch. The theory has 
not been properly worked out, it was caught up as a make- 
shift to serve as a Ijase for political authority, the old prin- 
ciple of divine right comnmnicated by the Pope through 
consecration having been dismissed. 

The theory is right, but it has not been dissected with 
sufficient clearness, and those rights which are alienable 
have not been sufficientlv distinguished from those which 
are inalienable, and moral and effective authorities have 
been confused. 

According to the new, and I believe the correct theory, 
authority is right delegated to another. The liberty of the 
citizen is the faculty of doing what he ought. Eight 
realizes duty, it is the exercise of the moral law in opposi- 
tion to every contrarient will ; it is duty continued. And 
because duty is identical in its principle, — for the same 
moral responsibility weighs on all men, the equality of 
right ensues. 

The constitution of the public power is suliordinated to 
the right of the individual. Consequently, no privilege is 
permissible, no institution is licit which cannot justify 
itself before the bar of reason. 

After right come rights, and after duty come duties. 
From the duty to live incumbent on me, arises the duty of 
watching for the conservation of the organs which serve 
my intelligence, and thence the riglit of acquiring and 
making mine such property as is necessary for my 
preservation. Eight and duty are the same idea under 



THE LXCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 253 

two aspects. Every duty iu me creates a riglit over 
another. 

But duties are of two sorts. There are the duties every 
rnan owes to God, and there are the duties he owes to his 
fellows. Those due to his fellows are, it is true, due to 
God, and he is responsible to God for discharging them : 
but there is this difference between these duties, — those he 
owes directly to God, worship and prayer, he cannot alienate; 
he alone can execute them, because he alone is responsible 
for their execution. But the duties he owes his fellows, 
non-interference with rights of property, rights of labour, 
freedom of person, he can delegate, and these he must 
delegate, because social organization is a necessity, and 
requires the concurrence of all. 

And government, to wliom he hands over the protection 
of these rights, exercises authority by A^irtue of this delega- 
tion. But liis religious duties he cannot delegate, there- 
fore government can exercise no authority in matters of 
religion. 

Again, observe, inasmuch as man is morally bound to 
respect the rights of his fellows, the authority of govern- 
ment in all matters social and political is moral. The 
right of a government over the individual is proportionate 
to the rights he has conferred on it, and as he cannot 
transfer his moral obligations, i.e. his religious responsi- 
bilities, to other shoulders, it follows that a government 
can have no right whatever over religion and matters of 
conscience. 

It is over all matters pertaining to the regidation of 
society that government can exercise a justifia^jle autho- 
rity ; for these rights are tlie only ones man can confer, 
and he can confer them only to enable himself to have 
liberty, and government to have mission. 



254 CHRISTIANITY 



AVlienever, therefore, goA^erumeut touclies religion, and 
endeavours to enforce any point of conscience, it contra- 
venes right. 

Man cannot delegate what he does not possess. In all 
his religious acts, he is responsible directly to God. In all 
his social acts, he is responsible to men ; he is responsible to 
God, but to men also — and when the action is between man 
and man, he can delegate the adjustment of these relations 
to a king or a president or a government of what sort pleases 
him. But the adjustment of his relations to God he can- 
not delegate ; for to delegate them is to transfer the direct 
relation to the person substituted for God, but no man 
has a right to substitute another man for God. He has no 
authority to do this. God may do it, and God alone can 
do it. 

The king, in one of our modern constitutional monarchies, 
in which the Church is subordinated to the State, assumes 
to order the relations between man and the Absolute. 
But to exercise this office he must have received special 
authority from God. But no one will pretend that this is 
the case. Henry VIII. assumed to be pope and king in 
one, that is to exercise authority as supreme head in things 
temporal and things spiritual, but such assumption was 
blasphemy against God, and an invasion of the rights of 
men. Men confer on the king his authority in things 
temporal, but men cannot confer on liim authority in 
things spiritual ; for by so doing they would delegate to 
him to represent God to them, and that is a right men do 
not possess, but God alone. 

From this it follows that when the Crown rules anything 
touching religion, such regulation is not morally bmding 
on consciences. 



THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 255 



For instance : tlie Crown forbids a certain doctrine to be 
held or tauglit, say the doctrine of the lieal Presence. Is 
a member of the Church bound to give up his convictions, 
and abstain fi^om preaching tliat doctrine ? 

To make the answer clear, let him ask himself, Who 
gave the Crown authority to decide doctrine ? Did God ? 
No, the tradition of authority by consecration from the 
Pope has been abandoned. Did the people ? Certainly 
not : the people cannot delegate to the Crown the power to 
represent God. 

Therefore the Crown in deciding a doctrine is invading 
a territory over which it has no moral right. 

Let us suppose another case. Believing in the Eeal 
Presence, a priest expresses his behef by outward gestures 
and by adorning the altar with lights and flowers. Now 
supposing the Crown had decided that genuflexions, lights, 
and flowers, were illegal, is the priest morally bound to 
abandon them ? 

Certainly not : it is his duty to God to give full expres- 
sion to the belief of his heart, and no power on earth 
has moral authority to interfere with this right. If the 
law punishes him, it is doing precisely what the Inquisition 
did in condemning Galileo, infringing a right of conscience 
over which it has no authority. 

From what has been laid down it follows that the 
only condition consistent with Christian principles, in 
which the Church and the State can stand to one 
another, is that of entire and absolute separation of 
authorities. 

That the only authority compatible with Christian prin- 
ciples wdiicli the Church can exercise, is moral authority, 
through persuasion. 



2S6 CHRISTIANITY 



That the only area in which tlic State can exercise autho- 
rity that shall he justifiable is tliat of social and political 
relations. 

We will now consider the sort of moral authority lodged 
in the hands of the Church. 

As has heen said in the last chapter, the Church is an 
organized body. As an organized body it has officers. As 
the ideal society, its officers are, or ought to be, the repre- 
sentatives of all members of the society. These officers, — 
the clergy, represent, therefore, the human side of the social 
Christ. In the society they are what in His person was 
His organic apparatus. This is the Presbyterian theory. 
But this does not satisfy the doctrine of the Incarnation. 
This theory is perfectly satisfactory when applied to a 
purely human organization ; but it breaks the analogy 
when applied to a spiritual organization. For tlie social 
Christ is like the personal Christ, double, of two natures, 
one outward and visible, the other inward and spiritual, 
one human, the other divine. 

The ]:triesthood, therefore, is the representative of the 
human element of the Church, I) at it is also the representa- 
tive of the divine element. It partakes of the fallible and 
of the infallible. 

Inasmuch as it represents the human element, it will be 
chosen constitutionally by the Church ; inasmuch as it 
represents the divine elemei^t, it will attach itself to Christ, 
and partake of His divinity and authority. 

A revelation necessitates a priesthood. If the Incarna- 
tion be true, it -was a revelation. If a revelation, it neces- 
sitated a body of authoritative teachers. 

Every truth we do not learn by our own experience is to 
us authoritative. If the king of Oude believes in water 



THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 257 

being frozen lie does so on authority : that is to say, he 
accepts the word of a teacher. 

As the Incarnation is a fact of the past, it cannot be 
believed by us, except on authority. If we believe it, it is 
on the authority of some teachers, or body of teachers. 

If the Incarnation be necessary to all men, that body of 
teachers must be perpetnaL Therefore, from the time of 
Christ to the consummation of all things there must be a 
hierarchy authoritatively teaching the dogmas of Chris- 
tianity. 

Autotheism attempts to do without the priest. The 
personal autocrat who affirms the existence of God identi- 
fies himself with God. There is no protection for the 
beliefs of others. To acknowledge only one's own belief, 
and to repudiate the beliefs of others, is to make one's self 
Absolute ; being absolute, one has no need of faith, religion, 
and sacerdotal institution. If religion be of the individual 
alone, the priesthood is not necessary; but if religion 
belong to many, it is necessary to preserve the community 
from breaking up into a multitude of autotheists. 

Humanity has always required the priest. The soldier 
representing defence, the magistrate representing order, 
and the priest representing the link with the Absolute, are 
three institutions which form themselves spontaneously in 
society. If the universality of these three institutions does 
not convince men of their necessity, their spontaneity de- 
monstrates it. They may be disguised, but they cannot be 
annihilated. 

Not to create an army is not to destroy the soldier. The 
soldier is fundamental ; one may change the mode of insti- 
tution, but not the institution. 

The magistrate and the priest are found at the origin 
of societies. If faith in God be essential and true, it is 



258 CHRISTIANITY 



a social question, and if a social question it must liave its 
rejDresentation. 

Man can no more be robbed of the representation of liis 
faith tlian be can be of the representation of justice and of 
defence. The Emperor of China cut off tlie heads of all the 
learned men in the Celestial Empire, and with the disap- 
pearance of the representatives of science, science disap- 
peared. Destroy the priesthood, and the tradition of the 
Incarnation dies out. Societies are the successive and 
permanent representation of man and of God. In that they 
represent man, they necessarily represent God. jVIan feel- 
ing that he is not the first cause, and that God is the prin- 
ciple of all human action, he represents himself by the 
soldier and the magistrate, and he represents God by the 
priest. 

If the priesthood be abolished, the princii:)le which is 
God is abolished also, for He ceases to l)e witnessed to. 
The priest will always reappear under one form or another, 
wherever there is any belief in God ; either as a visionary, 
or a sorcerer, or a spiritualist. Man must believe, and 
rather tban not believe, he will believe in an absurdity. 

Tlie three social institutions of soldier, magistrate, and 
priest, have their dangers as Avell as their utility. Let the 
utility be preserved and the danger be suppressed. 

The functions of soldier and magistrate are but the same 
function divided, for if the magistrate has no force, he is 
nothing. So also, if the soldier has not justice, he is only 
blind force. These two functions united constitute tem- 
poral authority. 

If the temporal authority be not determined, and tlie 
magistrate and soldier become priest, the empire is changed 
into a tyranny, and we have a governmental autocracy of 
the modern type trampling on religious rights. 



THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 259 

If the functions of the priest be not determined, and lie 
becomes soldier and magistrate, the empire is transformed 
into a tyranny, and we have a theocracy. 

Thus, soldier and magistrate on one side, and priest 
on the other, are the representatives of the liberty of 
peoples, subject to the condition that there be no encroach- 
ment by either on the functions of the otlier, that there be 
no confusion of powers, and that each exercises his office 
with recognition of the Absolute. 

As Christ is God as well as Man (by liypothesis), His 
word is authoritative and infallible ; and His authority is 
moral only. As the Church is the social aspect of Christ 
(as has been demonstrated), it must also be authoritative 
and infallible, and her authority must be moral only. 

But how is she to speak authoritatively, and how is she 
to declare the truth infallibly ? 

The Church being Christ, authority is not here or there, 
nor is infallibility here or there, but authority resides in 
the whule body, and infallibility resides in the whole body. 
Authority and infallibility are not derived from an order of 
the Church, nor from one member of the Church, but from 
the centre of the complete society. 

If authority and infallibility had their seat in one mem- 
ber, a pope, the Church would not be Catholic; for the 
centre of truth and authority would be displaced, it would 
be thrown to a point in the circumference, Avhicli is impos- 
sible without constituting the Pope God. 

If Christ be the centre from whom all autliority and all 
truth radiate, authority and truth will be diffused through- 
out the whole circle of the Church, which is His circum- 
ference. 

But as a society can only exist by organization, autho- 
rity and infallibility must have its representatives. The 



26o CHRISTIANITY 



ecclesiastical body are the representatives of authority and 
infallibility. 

They represent authority ; but that authority can only 
be moral. " He spake as one having authority, and not as 
the scribes," was said of Jesus ; and so it must be with the 
priest, His representative. 

Authority will be of two sorts, direct and indirect. Direct 
authority will come immediately from God, indirect autho- 
rity will come mediately from God through the body of the 
faithful. 

When a priest or bishop exercises authority, he exercises 
direct authority, but inasmuch as his authority is circum- 
scribed within certain limits, as of his diocese or parish, 
he exercises it under the correction of the body. Thus, his 
authority is of God, but his jurisdiction is of man. Tlie 
faculty is divine, but the exercise of the faculty is humanly 
regulated. 

That human regulation is divine also, but mediately so. 

We see that it is analogous in the constitution of the 
State. Every man has a right to live and acquire property, 
but society imposes restrictions, necessary restrictions, 
without which society could not exist. The power to 
restrict is in this case mecliately divine. 

Thus, in the Church, the authority to represent Christ 
must devolve directly from Christ, but the organization of 
that authority must derive from the society. 

Destroy the idea of limitation of authority — of juris- 
diction conferred by the society, and you destroy the idea 
of the Church as a human society. 

Destroy the idea of the immediate devolution of authority, 
and you destroy the idea of the Church as a divine society. 

If the Church be not a human and at the same time a 
divine society, it is not an aspect of Christ, Who is both man 



THE . INCARNA TION AND A UTHORITY 26 1 

and God ; and if Christ be not a community as well as a per- 
sonality, He is not the ideal of man, social as well as indi- 
vidual ; and if He be not the ideal, He is not the God-man ; 
that is, He is not perfect in both natures. 

The idea of ecclesiastical authority is one from which 
so many shrink, because it has been frightfully abused 
through its union with effective authority, that it is neces- 
sary for us to see clearly of what nature it is and what 
are its limits. 

There is no reason whatever why it should be dreaded 
any more than scientific authority. Scientific authority is 
the authority to declare the truth in matters of scientific 
research, and this devolves immediately from God. Every 
man who establishes an absolute truth in the domain of his 
investigation. Sir Isaac N"ewton when he declared the dogma 
of gravitation ; Kepler when he declared the true law of 
planetary motions ; Halley when he asserted the revolution 
of the sun round its own axis ; Eomer when he laid down 
the rapidity of the transmission of light, spoke with direct 
divine authority; that is, they announced the truth dis- 
covered by observation and reason. But no scientific man 
who speaks out of his domain speaks with authority ; a 
botanist cannot dogmatize in acoustics, nor can an astron- 
omer declare truth in anatomy. 

So in spiritual matters, the Church has authority to speak 
dogmatically, but she has no authority to declare the truth 
in any other sphere, scientific, metaphysical, or political. 

Again, her authority is limited to the declaration of the 
truth, she may not oppose one truth to another truth, but 
her office is to declare the whole body of truth. Her 
authoritative creed is the encyclopaedia of the belief of all 
her members, of all Christians, of all humanity indeed, past, 
present and to come, in matters spiritual. 



263 CHRISTIANITY 



As tlie Incarnation is a fact of tlie past, it is lier mission 
to assert tlie dogmatic truth of an historical event. 

If it he necessary for all men to acknowledge that event 
to he a fact, it is necessary that there should he an authori- 
tative witness to it. 
^ The Church is infaUihle inasmuch as it is Divine ; infal- 
y lible in the domain of supra-sensible truths. It is fallible 
when it dogmatizes on any other truths. 

Wherever the Church expresses Christ, it is divine, im- 
mutable, and true ; wherever it expresses man it is human, 
and fallible, and changeable. 

Thus, the organic constitution of the Church has been 
disturbed. That is the human side \ but the divine side 
has remained unchanged. 

No member of the Church can declare the wliole truth. 
No portion of the Church can declare the whole truth. 
Tlie whole truth can only be declared by the oecumenical 
Church. 

No member of the Church may deny a dogma which he 
cannot believe. He may say, I do not believe that doctrine. 
But he may not say, That doctrine is false. 

No branch of the Church may reject as false dogmas re- 
ceived by other branches of the Church. For there is really 
no such a thing as a branch of the Church. The Church must 
be one or nothing. The branch is nothing but a group of 
individualities ; they are of the Church, and fit harmoniously 
into their places, but if they begin to faU together for the 
purpose of denying what is to other individuals and tracts 
of the Church, they are in schism. 

What every individual and every part of the Church is 
morally bound to do is to believe what is within its own 
focus, and to allow what is beyond its own horizon. 

Every individual and every part of the Church is iiifal- 



THE INCARNATION AND AUTHORITY 263 

lible in what he or it believes and declares^ but is fallible 
in everything else. 

When any individual or portion of the Church denies a 
dogma held by any other portion of the Church, such a 
denial is a practical denial of the infallibility of the Church, 
therefore it is a denial of the infallibility of Christ, there- 
fore it is a denial of the divinity of Christ. 

Is then a member of a branch of the Church bound by 
any negations of that branch ? Is, for instance, a Greek 
bound to disbelieve in the double procession of the Holy 
Ghost, is a Eoman bound to disbelieve in the infallil)ility 
of the entire Church, because tlie expression of infallibility 
has been assumed to the detriment of the whole, l)y one 
man ; is an Anglican bound to reject the dogma of Invo- 
cation of Saints ? 

Certainly not. A negation is nothing. If the Greek 
Church denies the douljle procession, the Eoman Church 
denies the oecumenicity of the Body of Christ, the Anglican 
Church denies the Invocation of Saints, none of these 
denials affect their members. For men are members, not 
of parts, but of the whole. They" are bound to the whole 
by affirmation ; negations are not links, they are the rupture 
of links. . 

As things are now, there is schism, brought about by 
negation ; possible in the Church, because it has its human, 
imperfect side, which having become corrupted through 
union with effective authority, has fallen into decomposi- 
tion. 

But every additional step in beliefs taken by any man, or 
any admission that truths may lie beyond his limited 
horizon, approaches him to the ideal of all-conciliation. 

Schism is negation, and negation is nothing in itself 
Therefore negation cannot bind any man's conscience. 



264 CHRISTIANITY 



If any man declares all that is within the range of his 
own belief, and admits as possible all that is believed by 
others, he is very near to the realization of Catholicity. 

If any man declares all that is within the range of his 
own belief, and accepts as true all that is authoritatively 
declared by the representatives of all mankind, he is a 
Catholic. He may not be able himself to believe, but lie 
believes the measure of truth to be universal and not 
individual. 

Tliis is the function of the Church, to declare authorita- 
tively all truth ; and every man is morally bound to accept 
all as true, some articles because they are within his own 
apprehension, some because they are within the capacity 
of others. 



THE DOGMA OF GRACE 265 



CHAPTEE XV 

THE DOGMA OF GEACE 

" To hint wlio will sin, the may is open ; to him who will iwep the law, divine grace 
over/lows." — Talmud: Sabbath. 

The relation between man and God — Deism admits the relation of oriyiu 
alone — Pantheism confuses the factors — Christianity preserves the 
factors and determines the relation — Man free to accept life, reason and 
grace, or to reject them all or sevei'ally — Protestantism vitiates the re- 
lations — Catholicism maintains them — The mode of God's operation the 
same always — Vitally, intellectually, morally — He acts mediately — the 
medium material — The sacramental system the materialization of grace 
— Grace given at every time of life to meet all necessities — Loss to the 
ignorant through the mutilation of the sacramental system. 

aOD being the absolute, and man the contingent, God 
lives as the essence and source of life, and man lives 
as the effect, and never as the principle. Deriving his life 
from God, he may become the source of life to another, 
but not the absolute cause of life. 

His life is a reflexion of God's life, and he may reflect 
it on another, but he cannot constitute himself the ultimate 
principle from which all life flows. 

Such is the relation between God and man, a relation 
that cannot alter, God the cause, man the eS'ect ; God the 
principle, man the derivative. 

The Deist admits this relation as the original, but not as 



266 CHRISTIANITY 



the permanent condition of man. He allows that man 
exists through the fiat of the Creator, but there his con- 
nexion with God ceases ; from the point of junction their 
respective lines diverge and become more and more distant. 
The relation is that of son to father. Man receives from 
the Deity his being; but having received his being, his 
Father participates no longer in his action and in his life. 
God is the principle, l)ut not the continuation of Ids life. 
]Man has his liberty, which he realizes, making it his own 
in principle and in fact, without the co-operation of God. 
He individualizes himself, but it is in exile. The inter- 
communion between him and his Maker is not ; for they 
are separate. Deism may be a philosophy, but it cannot 
be a religion. 

The Pantheist, on the other hand, confounds God and 
man in an unity of being ; not because the absolute is the 
principle and power of life, and because the life of the 
contingent is really the life of the Absolute, transformed 
into another personality; but because all distinction be- 
tween the cause and the effect is denied or misunderstood; 
the contingent is in the absolute, and the absolute is in the 
contingent ; they cannot l^e disengaged, and consequently 
they cannot be distinguished. The absolute is not one 
and the contingent another; one is not principle and the 
other effect, Init the All-Being is all in one, cause in effect, 
and effect in cause ; a chaos of relations. If the Pantheist 
recognizes a distinction, he should recognize that a relation 
exists between them, that the absolute and the contingent 
must stand to one another, one as cause, the other as effect, 
one as principle and force of life, the other as possessed of 
communicated life, which is nevertheless its own life, 
because it is life. 

The Deist charges the Pantheist with maintaining a 



THE DOGMA OF GRACE 267 

relation without afCirmiug the distinct personalities of those 
related, and the Pantheist rebukes the Deist with asserting 
a distinction in personalities and not maintaining their 
relations. 

The Pantheist denies man his liberty, making him but 
a portion of the to Ilav ; or it allows him absolute liberty 
without res]3onsibility, by absorbing the absolute in the 
contingent, by sinking God in man. 

Christianity alone conserves intact the distinction be- 
tween the Absolute and the contingent and the perpetuity 
of their relations. 

This is the subject of consideration in this chapter. 

AVe have seen that the dogma of free-will is of the 
essence of Christianity. God is the author of man's 
whole being, and He gives to him in potentia the faculties 
of manifesting his complete personality ; these faculties he 
is perfectly free to use or to abuse. 

The theory of free-will is the relation between man and 
God; the relation between God and man is called the 
theory of grace. At bottom, free-will and grace are only 
the same idea seen from two different points of view. 

The theory of grace, like that of liberty, supposes 1st, 
a cause, which is God ; and 2nd, an effect, which is man. 
God is always cause, man is always effect. God lives, 
acts, and wills as cause; man lives, acts, and wills as 
effect. 

Every act of God is causational, every act of man has 
the character of eff'ect. This is the base of their life, and 
this is the reason of the operation of God upon man. 

When we consider the liberty of man, we see that he 
is free to accept or to reject the life that has been given 
to him. He cannot communicate to himself life, because 
he is not the principle of life, but he can use or abuse 



268 CHRISTIANITY 



the life which is his, having been given to him, because 
he is an effect. 

It is the same with his intellectual faculties. He can 
atrophy them through walful ignorance, or he can develop 
them by constant effort. His life and his mental faculties 
are talents to be put out to usury, or to be buried in the 
earth ; but they are not given man to bury, but to make 
the most of, and in this consists his duty. 

It is the same with his emotional powers. He has the 
capacity of loving God and loving man. He may con- 
centrate all that love on himself; and destroy its very 
nature ; by so doing he ceases to be religious and social, 
and thus snaps those cords which would draw him onward 
to perfection. 

Grace is to the moral force what the principle of life is 
to the living force. Just as man has not the principle 
of life in himself, is not the cause of life, so he has not 
in himself the principle of morality, he is not the cause of 
moral force. 

If he is effect in one, he is effect in the other. If he be 
not the principle of vital force, he is not the principle of 
moral force. The law is one. God is in all things cause, 
man in all things is effect. 

In science, man is not cause. He does not lay down 
the laws of nature. He makes his theories, and has to 
adapt and readapt them as his experience enlarges. There 
is a law of nature, and towards that law he feels his 
way ; that law may be discovered, but it cannot be imposed 
by him. 

Grace is the relation of God to man's moral nature, as 
truth is His relation to man's mental nature, and life is 
His relation to man's animal nature. 

In all these relations man is free, free to interrupt and 



THE DOGMA OF GRACE 269 

destroy the connexion ; to cut off the relation to his animal 
nature by suicide ; to his intellectual nature by persistent 
ignorance ; to his moral nature by rejection of grace. 

And just as man may accept and abuse one relation, so he 
may accept and abuse the other relations. 

He may accept his life, but refuse to accept intelligence 
and morality; then he lives merely as an animal. 

He may accept his life and his reason and refuse grace ; 
and then he lives merely as an intelligent man. 

He may accept his life and grace and refuse reason ; and 
then he lives as a mystic. 

He may accept his life, his reason, and grace ; and then 
he lives his perfect life — as a Christian. 

There is no constraint ; he is perfectly free. The Ab- 
solute, in all his relations with man, is an incessant appeal 
to life, to science, and to good ; and man is the voluntary 
reponse to good, to science, and to life. 

Thus, man is free by and in the Absolute ; and grace, far 
from being the destruction of the liberty of man, is the 
cause of his liberty; for, just as he has life only because 
there is a Principle of life, and has intelligence, only because 
there is a Principle of intelligence, so he has a moral life, 
only because there is a Principle of goodness. 

The liberty of the human conscience is thus solidly 
established, since it is necessitated by the veiy relation man 
stands in to God, by the nature of man, and by the nature 
of God. 

Deism suspends the communication of the life of the 
absolute to the contingent, from the moment of the birth 
of the latter; Pantheism destroys the link between the 
absolute and the contingent by fusing them into one mass ; 
Anthropotheism by placing in man a factitious absolute, 
and thus denying the real absolute. 



ijo CHRISTIANITY 



Deism artificially .separates the factors, Pantheism and 
Autotlieism confuse tliem. Consequently the metaphysical 
principle of liberty is not to be found in these systems ; the 
only scheme which establishes without break liberty under 
the Absolute, and makes liberty consist in morality, is 
Christianity. 

But not every form of Christianity. Protestantism 
falsifies the theory of relations, Luther by his doctrine of 
free-will, and Calvin by his doctrine of grace. In principle 
they admitted the link between God and man, but their 
peculiar dogmas destroyed it, for neither Luther nor Calvin 
went back to metaphysical principles, l)ut halted at their 
theories. Luther, in his treatise De servo Arhitrio, denied 
free-will, Calvin affirmed the doctrine of predestination, and 
arrived, like Luther, at the negation of free-will. 

These solutions of the question are the complete destruc- 
tion of the link between man and God. For if man has 
not liberty before God, if grace is fatal to him, it results 
that he lives and acts, not as a person with a will, but pas- 
sively ; and if passive, the life of the contingent is nothing 
but the life of the Absolute, who lives and wills in the 
other ; and the other has neither distinct personality nor 
being. This is the Pantheistic consequence following 
certamly from the Lutheran or Calvinistic doctrine; and 
this accounts for the fact that Pantheism dominates the 
intellect in all Protestant countries. Their religion has 
secretly prepared them for it. 

Catholicism alone lays down the distinction between God 
and man, whilst it preserves inviolate the link by its theory 
of grace, an incessant effusion of the principle and power 
of the moral life, and by its theory of free-will, wliich is the 
voluntary acceptance or refusal of the princii:)les of moral 
life. Thus grace is the relation of God to man, and free- 



THE DOGMA OF GRACE 



will is the relation of man to God ; and one supposes tITe 
other. 

We come now to the mode in wliich God operates upon 
man. First with regard to the animal life. God gives man 
his life, the germ of his life, at the outset, but the preserva- 
tion of that life demands an incessant assimilation of 
vitalizing material, that it may continue to live, grow, and 
perfect itself. 

The child enters the world with its vital force witliin it, 
but it needs food, or that life Avill expire. Food is to it fuel 
to supply the central fire with its latent caloric. 

Thus man, to preserve that life which God has given him, 
is obliged to consume material substances in which is 
chemical force which he may transmute into vital force. 
His link with God is through the thousand substances 
which sustain the life within him. Every animal and every 
herb maintains the same relations to the Absolute. There 
is so much of the life radiated from the Creator wrapped up 
in so much matter. By consuming the material, this life is 
assimilated. Eefuse food, and you break the threads which 
attach your life to the Absolute ; and its connexion broken, 
it dies. 

So with the intellect. The faculty of knowing is given 
to it, l)ut the material is scattered here and there. The 
mind without material could not grow. Nor could it grow 
unless that material were intellectualized, if I may use the 
word, by God. For if the world of nature were not subject 
to law, thought would find in it nothing on which to reason. 
Every change would be a siirprise, but as it would be pur- 
poseless, with the surprise, all its action on tlie mind w^ould 
cease. On the contrary, the world of matter is penetrated 
throufjli and through with thought, and it thus becomes 
a vehicle for the conveyance of thought to the mind. 




272 CHRISTIANITY 



It is the link iDet^veen tlie intellect of man and the mind 
of God. 

So with the heart. The faculty of loving is given man 
at his birth, but the objects on which it can beam, and from 
which it can recover its warmth, are around him. Place a 
man in a desert island, and he will look about him for some 
object which he may love, a parrot or a goat. Enclose him 
within stone walls, and he AviU expend his affection on the 
mice and spiders; even, it may be, on the cold cell itself. 
The Incarnation is the carrying out of the analogy. Man, 
if he must love men or other creatures, must also love God ; 
and that he may love God, God must materialize Himself 
He has materialized His life in the elements of consumption 
to nourish the life of man ; He has materialized His intelli- 
gence in the works of Nature to educate the reason of man ; 
He has materialized His love in Christ to draw out and to 
nourish the charity of man. 

But as Christ in His material presence was only for 
thirty-three years on earth, and men live, generation after 
generation, with the same want, the sacraments are, accord- 
ing to Catholic theory, a prolongation of the Incarnation, a 
materiahzing of grace, to bring it within the comj^ass of 
man's affections. On this point I shall speak in another 
chapter. I wish here simply to insist on the materializing 
of grace being according to analogy. Everything has its 
outward and visible form and its inward and spiritual grace, 
the bread we eat, the flowers w^e study, the objects we love, 
and the sacraments we use. 

Vital force might be conveyed to us without a gross 
medium, but, as a fact, it is not. If there be angels they 
will draw their life from the source of life without its hav- 
ing passed first into matter, and become as it were incarnate. 
They may know without any creation, which is a manifesta- 



THE DOGMA OF GRACE 273 

tion of the thono'hts of the Creator, His ideas written on the 
world He has called into being; to them no Incarnation is 
necessary, for they can love directly, Avithout need of an 
exteriorization of that love ; but to us it is not so, double 
in our nature, being composed of body and soul, and these 
compounds being so united that lesion of one wounds the 
other, God operates upon us through a medium. He gives 
vital force through food, intellectual force through the study 
of His works, spiritual force through sacraments. 

Everything may become a sacrament of good, as every- 
thing may be made a sacrament of evil. As the trail of the 
serpjent is over all the flowers of earth, so has the shadow 
of the ascended Christ fallen over them all and sanctified 
them. The mountain peak glowing with the last evening 
light, the pine reflected in the still green lake, the dew 
dripping flowers at morning and the high-soaring lark, are 
all sacraments, or may be sacraments to us — sacraments 
of the beauty and goodness of the Creator. But there 
are other sacraments conferring moral force ; sacraments 
which make the Incarnation not a mere history of the past, 
but an ever-present, living, earnest reality to the Catholic. 

As the Kfe man has to preserve requires constant nourish- 
ing, as the mind requires a constant supply of intellectual 
nutriment through observation, reading, or listening, — and 
what is literature but the materialized thoughts of the 
writers, and what are words but embodied ideas? — so the 
moral life requires constant moral nutriment, that is grace. 
And as the moral life is exposed to various dangers, and to 
times of sickness, and fits of exhaustion, it needs a variety 
of means of grace to sustain and stimulate it at all times. 
This is what the Church provides in all her sacraments and 
pious rites. There is a constant overflow of divine grace 
through material channels. 



274 CHRISTIANITY 



A writer on the visions of the Old Testament thus 
elegantly illustrates the idea. I condense his words.^ 

He is speaking of the visions of Zechariah. The prophet 
had been shown a series. One represented the rebuilding 
of the Church, another shewed the priesthood of Christ, 
and then came one exhibiting the sacramental system of 
the Church. He saw in vision "a candlestick all of gold, 
with a bowl upon the top of it, and seven lamps thereon, 
and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the 
top thereof.'"'^ 

The lights, says Fernandez, are the different estates of 
Christians, the pipes conveying the oil which nourishes 
these lights are the sacraments, and the olive branches 
whence the oil distils are the two natures of Christ. Tlie 
little child gathers its sweet innocence, its simple faith and 
pure love, through the channel of Baptism shedding the 
golden oil of divine grace into the clean vessel of its simple 
heart. The youth goes forth to new trials against the 
world, the flesh, and the devil, and he requires more of the 
divine assistance than did the child; whence does he obtain 
his strength, but through the channel of Conflrmation dis- 



tributing the golden renovating oil. In the battle of life 
every day, tlie flagging soul requires a renewal of the 
moral life, and it is quickened and invigorated by the 
golden oil flowing through the channel of Communion. 
-The penitent bewailing lost grace, whose lamp is dying out, 
whose vessel is clogged and stained, needs the golden stream 
rollino- through Penance to cleanse the defiled vessel and 
quicken the expiring flame. Those who desire to enter 
on the marriage state and preserve the virginity of the 
clean heart, need powers and grace to protect them from 

1 Fernandez : in A^'isiones Vet. Test., Lugduni, 1617, p. 779 et seq. 

2 Zecli. iv. 2, 3. 



THE DOGMA OF GRACE 275 

falling into sensuality. And again through the channel of 
Matrimony gushes the precious oil. 

Those who seek to minister to the spiritual wants of 
others, need special grace and authority. 

"Unless Thou fill me with Thy light, 
I cannot lead Thy flock aright '; 
Nor, without Thy sujiport, can bear 
The burden of so great a care, 
But am myself a castaway." 1 

But, lo ! through the channel of Holy Order the anointing 
oil is shed. Lastly, the period of sickness and the hour of 
death have their special trials and needs of grace, and it is 
supplied through Holy Unction. 

Commentators have regarded the parable of the good 
Samaritan as typical of Christ and mankind. He brings 
man to the house of His Church, and He gives to the host. 
His ministry, the two pence of the two great Sacraments of 
the Gospel to be his stay and support, " and whatsoever 
thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay 
thee," commissioning His Church to multiply means of 
assistance to weak and ignorant souls, as it may deem 
expedient. 

Whether it be so or not, this is certain — the Incarna- 
tion is the descent of God from the unapproachable regions 
of the Absolute to the lowest depths of man's spiritual 
needs. Let that be granted — and if it be not granted, the 
value of the Incarnation is naught — and the whole sacra- 
mental system flows from it inevitably. 

Man needs the help of God continually, and continually 
therefore is that help given ; but it is given according to 
the law of man's nature and the law of God's Incarnation, 
that is, grace becomes embodied in an outward, material 

^ Longfellow : The Golden Legend. 



276 CHRISTIANITY 



form. INIan receives every other gift of God in an outward, 
material shape. He receives moral force thus also. 

This is the principle which renders, not merely the sacra- 
ments grace-giving, but those numberless other gifts of the 
Church grace-giving also — scapulars, holy water, images, 
and the like. 

Our Eeformers abolished a host of means of grace ; with 
rude hands they hacked away all the lower steps of the 
ladder that reaches to heaven, by which the ignorant and 
the feeble could lift themselves and look up. And now 
they have cast themselves in a sullen despair upon the 
earth ; it is no gate of heaven to them, but a pillow of 
stones, which they will hug, and on which they will die, 
without a mounting hope or a descending angel. 



EMMANUEL 277 



CHAPTER XVI 

EMMANUEL 

" I gazed upon Christ, the Saviour of man, 
hi streantiiig siiow-ivhite garment wand' ring, 
Giant great, over la'nd and sea ; 
His head reach' d to the heavens. 
His hands were stretch' d otit in blessing 
Over land and sea ; and as a heart in his bosom 
Bore He the sun ruddy andjlaming. 
Shedding beams ofjnercy, beauteotis and bliss-giving, 
Liglitening and -warming, over land and sea" 

Heine : Pictures of Travel. 

Prayer the afRrmatiou of the link between God aud man — affirms grace — 
Grace must coincide with the hiw of tlie Incarnation— An historical 
Christ does not satisfy the needs of man — Man needs a Christ immanent 
in the Church as an object of worship — This is also necessitated by the 
nature of the Incarnation — The Real Presence in every Christian — in 
all Sacraments — in the Eucharist — Impossibility man labours under of 
avoiding localization of the Deity — Christ, as God, is everywhere pre- 
sent — as Man is localized — These ideas do not contradict one another, 
both are true — The worship of the localized Christ springs up at once 
— This doctrine in accordance with the law of the Incarnation — Em- 
manuel, God with us in many ways. 

BY prayer we affirm the link between ourselves and God, 
we assert our own free-M'ill, and impetrate the grace 
of God. If we had not free-will, we should not pray. We 
pray for assistance because we know that we can do wrono- 
as well as right, and we want assistance to enable us to do 
what is right. If we are fatally ruled in all we do, prayer 
is out of the question. Consequently prayer is illogical to 



278 CHRISTIANITY 



a Pantheist, a Moliammedan, and a Calvinist. Tliey may 
worship, but they may not pray, or they are inconsequent. 

The Catholic is obliged to affirm the link between him- 
self and God ; he does so by prayer, thereby he affirms his 
own free-will and its correlative, grace. And as grace, to 
coincide with the law of God's dealings, must be double, 
must have a divine side and a material manifestation, he 
affirms the sacramental system. 

Christ was Himself tlie sacrament of grace for thirty- 
three years. Now that He is no longer sensibly present, 
He continues to exist amongst us, conveying grace, ac- 
cording to the same law. 

This is what His name Emmanuel implies, a perpetual 
presence of God with us, of God ever present in His Churcli 
to convey grace and to receive homage. 

An historical Incarnation does not meet all man's re- 
quirements. God made flesh two thousand years ago is a 
fact of the past, interesting to the religious antiquarian, 
but of no practical importance to the Christian. The 
dealings of God with man after that event are precisely the 
same as they were before. 

It was a golden spot in the world's scroll, diminishing 
in lustre as the future unwinds, and soon to be rolled up 
in oblivion ; not a golden thread illuminating the whole 
history of man. 

Christ was born, God incarnate, lived and died, rose and 
ascended, and Christianity scrambles on without Him in 
the light of that event, becoming dimmer as generations 
succeed generations. Four thousand years hence men will 
walk in darkness again. The faith required to hold the fact 
of the Incarnation is historical belief; and as historical 
facts become remote faith diminishes in intensity. 

The Lutheran doctrine of Justification by faith does not 



EMMANUEL 279 



hitch in to the lucarnatiou, it would apply as well without 
that event, and unite man and God whether He had been 
incarnate or not. I 

Protestantism is a religion of looking back to the past, 
not a religion of the present. Two thousand years ago 
Christ was in His Church, and we are two thousand years 
off from Him. "The history of religion," says a modern 
essayist,^ " according to the ordinary Protestant view, is an 
immense anti-climax. Judaism is a half success. Chris- 
tianity is a catastrophe." In the Twelfth Book of Milton's 
Paradise Lost, the Archangel Michael draws out for Adam 
the long history of his posterity. In grand pictures taken 
from Scripture, the four thousand years of preparation pass 
in review. All progresses in expectation of the promised 
Deliverer. He comes, He dies. He rises triumphant, and 
ascends into heaven. Adam exclaims in rapture : — 

" goodness infinite, goodness immense ! 
That all this good of evil shall produce." 

Put liis raptures are premature ; he has the curiosity to ask 
Michael what shaU follow the preaching of the Apostles. 
Great and glorious things doubtless, while Michael draws 
his prophecy from the Acts of the Apostles. He tells of 
the descent of the Holy Ghost, the gift of tongues, and 
miracles, — 

' ' Thus they win 
Great numbers of each nation to receive 
"With joy tlie tidings brought from Heaven ; at length 
Their ministry perform'd, and race well run, 
Their doctrine and their story written left, 
They die." 

But as soon as Michael — Milton's Michael of course — 
leaves Scripture, and takes his Protestant view of history, 

1 In Spirit and in Truth: Longmans, 1869, p. 329. A very masterly 
essay, taking the scriptural argument, which it is not my place to adopt. 



2 So CHRISTIANITY 



how clianged is the scene ! Scarcely are the Apostles dead, 
when wicked men 

"The truth 
With superstition and traditions taint, 
Left only ill fhrsc written records invre,. 
Though not but by the Spirit understood. 
Whence heavy persecutions shall arise 
On all who in the worship persevere 
Of spirit and truth ; the rest, far greater part, 
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms 
Religion satisfied. " 

And so the ^\'orld goes on, " under its own weight groaning," 

till the day of doom. 

The reader must be of a very genial temperament who, 

with this philosophy of history in his mind, can exclaim 

with Adam — ^Milton's Adam of course — 

"Greatly instructed I shall hence depart 
Greatly in peace of thought." ^ 

Such a view is, I need hardl}^ say, inconsistent with the 
dosma of the Incarnation. The Incarnation is a descent 
of God to the level of human necessities ; man wants the 
presence of Christ as much now as he did two thousand 
years ago ; he wants Christ not merely on paper, but living 
in fact as a person in the midst of His Church. He needs 
a perfect ideal life, and that he has in the history of Christ 
contained in the Gospels, but lie wants something more 
than that, an ever-present object, before which he may pour 
out his prayers, of which he may ask grace, upon which 
he may lavish his love, towards which he may direct his 
worship. 

This is what the idolater and fetishist sought, and as 
idolatry and fetishism are present everywhere where worship 
is offered, idolatry and fetishism must have their expression 
in the Chiistian Church. 

1 Milton's Paradise Lost, book xii. 



EMMANUEL 281 



Idolatry and fetishism were expressions of the desire 
felt by every man to fix his attention on some one point, 
t(j have some sensible presence of God, to which he could 
turn as to a centre of devotion. 

These forms of worship were appeals to God, and God's 
answer was the Incarnation. But if Christ was only Em- 
manuel for thirty-three years, the heart appeals still to God, 
for it feels the same want, and if man feels that want still, 
and it is still left unsupplied, the Incarnation was incomplete 
— it set man a moral exemplar and thus satisfied one long- 
ing, but it afforded man no satisfaction to his craving for an 
object of worship. There are two alternatives, those two 
between which the heathen world swung, Polytheism or 
Deism, Idolatry or Indifference. Christianity must slide 
into one of these unless that want be met. 

It may go back into polytheism and idolatry under the 
more modern form of authropotheism, or it may settle itself 
into a philosophic deism, which leaves man without union 
with his God, and therefore v/ithout a religion. 

But if love be the link uniting the Creator and the 
creature, the creature cannot manifest its complete activity 
without loving its Maker, and as it cannot love the abstract 
God of reason, God is assumed to have become Man to give 
him that object on which he could expend his love for the 
ideal of all that is good, and true, and beautiful. But if 
that Ideal be removed from him, he is left as before with 
the same desires unsatisfied. Consequently there must be 
a prolongation of Christ's presence — His objective presence 
— in the midst of His Church. He must be our Emmanuel 
as well as the Ennnanuel of tlie shepherds of Bethlehem. 
This is what Catholicism teaches to be the nature of the 
Eucharistic presence. Catholics believe that the fulness of 
times brought with it the fulness of God's sensible presence 



282 CHRISTIANITY 



amongst men, and that amongst men He lived tlie ideal 
life, the model of all perfection, to be a perpetual model. 
Christ's ideal life did not end two thousand years ago. It 
is perpetuated in the Church. His life is reproduced more 
or less faintly in every Christian. If the Word took our 
nature, wherever that regenerate nature is, there is Christ. 
He is not only, as God, present everywhere at every point 
in space ; He is besides immanent, living, acting, in the 
midst of us, in each one of us, in the human and created 
order, to bring us back to the divine and supernatural order. 
It is He who lives in us, prays in us, suffers in us, and 
merits in us. " I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat : 
I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink : I was a stranger, and 
ye took Me in : naked, and ye clothed Me : sick, and ye 
visited Me : I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Verily 
I say unto you. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of 
the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."^ 
When Said persecuted the Christians, Jesus is said to have 
reproached him with these words : " Saul, Saul, why per- 
secutest thou Me ? And he said. Who art thou. Lord ? And 
the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest."'^ W^hat 
was done to the Church was done to Him. 

Christ has a Eeal Presence in every Christian through 
all ages, as moral perfection. There is not an act of charity, 
of heroism, of self-denial, of purity, which is not the result 
of His permanent action, and consequently He ceases not 
to live visibly among us as our Moral Guide. S. Paul 
speaks of forming Christ in us, that is of making the Ideal 
of moral perfection shine out of us through the veil of our 
imperfection, — 

" Est Dens in nobis, agitante calescinius illo," 

said the heathen poet, and it is truer a hundred-fold of 
1 Matt. XXV. 35, 36, 40. ^ ^^ts ix. 4, 5. 



EMMANUEL 283 



Christians. It is not the spiritnal nature of God which is 
alone in us, but the human nature also. Thus every 
Christian is a supplementary Gospel of the Incarnation, 
with something human and imperfect, and something also 
divine and ideal. 

Every man is like a pool reflecting the sun. He is the 
reproduction of Christ, wliether he be Christian or heathen. 
Catholic or Protestant; but in one, the image is clearer 
and more radiant than in another, because there is less dis- 
turbance of the harmony of a nature in union with God. 
Every interference with the development of his nature, by 
negation of personality, of the link between the personali- 
ties, or of the relation of the personalities, breaks up the 
image, and the mirror is clouded. To reproduce Christ, the 
Ideal, the affirmation of the being of God, of one's self, and 
the exercise of the link, which is love, by use of free-will 
and acquisition of grace, and the affirmation by worship of 
the relations in which God stands to man, are absolutely 
necessary. 

When God crowns our merits. He crowns Himself, for 
we are one with Christ, we in Him — that is, in His body 
the Church — and He in us, by conformation to the Ideal. 
There is no imputation of merits ; the good we do, Christ 
does in us, and He cannot do it in us, except by our dis- 
tinguishing our personality from His. 

This is the mystery of the Passion, the descent of Christ 
into negation and opposition, and out of negation and 
opposition a restoration to unity. 

Thus the Incarnation, as regards the moral life, is not 
a thing of the past, but of the present. As a means of 
conveying moral force, or grace, it is not a thing of the 
past, but of the present. Christ lives on id His Church as 
the Grace-dispenser. The gospel of His life is ever taldug 



284 CHRISTIANITY 



new forms and fresh developments, in the patriot, in the reso- 
lute explorer, undaunted by difficulties, the emancipator of 
the slave, the political reformer, — it was not run out at 
His crucifixion; wherever there is a moral beauty, a 
dignity, a heroism, it is an aspect of Christ's life working 
out in His body the Church or in His members. 

And as His garment is of many colours, so is that of His 
grace, which nourishes the moral life. In a thousand ways, 
through the voices of men, through the press, through the 
orchestra and the stage, through whatever is beautiful in 
act and noble in conception, He breathes the stimulat- 
ing force into the soul of man. But especially does He 
do so through those consecrated channels which He histo- 
rically in person, or still mystically in His Church, may 
liave instituted. In these specially, for they were ap- 
pointed for that particular purpose, and for none other, 
whereas all the other means, devices of men, are not 
desimed for that end. 

It is thus that Christ is in all the sacraments as the 
Grace-giver. They are not forms only, but the forms 
through which He works, just as all force operates through 
matter. Spiritual gifts may be given without a medium, 
but it is according to analogy that a vehicle should be 
used. Protestants cannot do away with a medium. They 
have, however, reduced all sacraments to two, the preacher 
and the Bible. If they derive good from a sermon, the 
minister has been to them the outward and visible sign 
through which it has reached them. And what is the 
Bible ? So much paper — mashed cotton rags, and so much 
ink — treacle and lamp-black, but the transformed rags and 
the blackened treacle are to them the materia of spiritual 



grace. 



But as we have a body formed of the dust of the earth 



EMMANUEL 285 



as well as an animating soul, it is according to analogy that 
a sacrament should be formed on the like principle, and 
be adapted to things with a material and an immaterial 
substance, body and soul. It is according to the analogy 
of God's other dealings with us, as I have already shewn. 

And now we arrive at the satisfaction of the desire man 
has for an object to which to address himself in prayer, 
an object on which to focus his thoughts and rivet his 
attention. 

God is present everywhere and in all things, — that is at 
once an axiom of reason and an article of faith. He is 
above, below^ before, behind, nay. He is within me ; 
"Whither shall I go then from Thy Spirit; or whither 
shall I go then from Thy presence ? If I climb up into 
heaven, Thou art there : if I go down to hell. Thou art 
there also. If I take the wings of the morning and remain 
in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there also shall 
Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me. If 
I say, peradventure the darkness shaU cover me, then 
shall my night be turned to day."^ 

That God is everywhere present a Christian must believe 
— it is of the nature of God; that union with Him is 
available to the devout in all places and at all times, He 
is "also bound to believe. Nevertheless he desires to have 
God's presence specialized ; 

"Jehovah, shapeless Power above all powers, 
Single and one, the omnijn-esent God, 
By vocal utterance, or Llaze of light, 
Or cloud of darkness localized in heaven ; 
On earth, enshrined within the wandering ark, 
Or out of Sion, thundering from His throne 
Between the cherubim."- 

1 Ps. cxxxix. 6-10. - Wordsworth : The Excursion. 



286 CHRISTIANITY 



God's answer to that want was the Incarnation, Why 
did not the Syro-Phoenician woman and the leper tnrn 
their backs on Christ, and worship Him everywhere, instead 
of where He visibly stood ? Because it is a natural in- 
stinct which cannot be suppressed, to localize God. The 
Deist, when he prays, raises his eyes to heaven ; the Pan- 
theist, if he worships, adores God in the flower. The 
heathen lifts his hands to the sun, or bows before an idol. 
If the spirit of worship has wholly deserted Protestantisnl 
— I do not say the spirit of prayer, — it is because thei 
specialization of God has been discountenanced. The 
Protestant will pray, because he feels that he needs some- 
thing, but he will not worship. He is incapable of ador- 
ing immensity. And if worship be a necessity, he must 
have an objectiA^e presence of God to adore. That objec- ( 
five presence is Christ in the Holy Eucharist. As the 1 
virtuous man is a perpetuation of Christ's moral life, as the I 
sacraments are the perpetuation of His grace giving, so is 
the Eucharist Christ perpetually present to receive our \ 
worship and honiage. Such is the Catholic doctrine. 

" In the Eucharist we have something for the senses, 
something which tells us that God is present in a special 
manner, not from necessity, hut from love, and for our sake ; 
yet, at the same time, this object that meets our senses and 
touches our hearts has no meaning or j^ower except over 
those who live by faith. It is well worth a Protestant's 
calm consideration that the very mystery which is the 
object of the most elaborate and splendid Catholic cere- 
monial, is called by Catholics pre-eminently Mystcrium 
fidei, the mystery of faith." ^ 

It is like the pillar of cloud we read of in Exodus, a 



\ 



liffht and briuhtness to some, but darkness and confusion \ 

1 In Spirit and in Truth, p. 317. 



EMMANUEL 287 



to others. It is like Christ Himself when He was on 
earth. Some saw and believed, others saw and disbelieved. 
He had no form nor comeliness, and He was struck and 
reviled. So is He in His presence among us now, with- 
out majesty of appearance, scoffed at and trampled under 
foot. 

Yet in this is He still our Emmanuel, as the object of 
our worship, and as thus lifted up, He draws all men to 
Him. 

Take the following description of a solemnity of the 
Church, and judge wdiether in it the idea of worship is 
realized with an intensity and truth, found nowhere but in 
the Church. In vain have we thrown open our churches 
for worshippers, no worshippers will come ; but when we 
restore to our altars tlie presence of our Incarnate Lord, 
under the form in which He is content to dwell " with us," 
then our churches will fill from morning to night with 
those whom love draws to follow the Lamb whithersoever 
He goeth. 

The passage I quote describes the \Qrj beautiful devo- 
tion practised in the Pioman Church, called Exposition, or 
the Forty-Hours' Prayer. 

'■' The Church is richly adorned with tapestry and hang- 
ings, while the daylight is excluded, not so nmch to give 
effect to the brilliant illumination round the altar, as to 
concentrate and direct attention towards that which is 
upon it, and make it, like the Lamb in heaven, the lamp 
and the sun, the centre of light and glory to the surround- 
ing sanctuary. After a solemn mass, and a procession, 
the Blessed Sacrament is enshrined and enthroned above 
the altar. Around it is disposed, as it were, a firmament 
of countless lights, radiating from it, symbolical of the 
ever- wakeful host of heaven, the spirits of restless life and 



288 CHRISTIANITY 



imfadiiig brightness, that keep watch round the seat of 
glory above. At the foot of the aUar kneel immovable, in 
silent adoration, tlie priests of the sanctuary, relieving each 
other day and night, pouring the prayers of the people, as 
fragrant odours, before it. But look at the body of the 
Church ! no pews, no benches, or other incumbrances are 
there; but the flood of radiance from the altar seems to 
be poured out upon the marlile pavement and to stream 
along it to the very door. But not during the day will 
you see it thus : the whole, except during the hours of 
repose, is covered with kneeling worshippers. Looking at 
the scene through the eye of memory, comes nearer to the 
contemplation of a heavenly vision than auglit else that 
we know^ 

" It seems to us as though on these occasions flesh and 
blood lost their material grossness, and were spiritualized 
as they passed the threshold. Softly and noiselessly is the 
curtain raised which covers the door, and j)assed uplifted 
from hand to hand in silent courtesy, as a succession of 
visitors enter in ; they Avho in the street just now were 
talking so loud and laughing so merrily, here they steal in 
with slow pace and gentle tread, as though afraid to break 
vipon tlie solemnity of the scene ! For before and around 
them are scattered, without order or arrangement, persons 
singly or in groups as they have entered in, all lowly 
kneeling, all reflecting upon their prayerful countenances 
the splendour from the altar ; and as they pass among them 
to find place, with what careful and quiet steps they thread 
their way, so as least to disturb those among whom they 
move, and then drop down upon their knees too in the first 
open space, upon the same bare stone floor, princess and 
peasant, priest and layman, all equal in the immeasurable 
distance between them and the eternal object of their 



EMMANUEL 289 



adoration. In no other time or place is the sublimity of 
our religion so touchingiy felt. No ceremony is going 
forward in the sanctuary, no sound of song is issuing from 
the clioir, no voice of exhortation proceeds from the pulpit, 
no prayer is uttered aloud at the altar. There are hun- 
dreds there, and yet they are engaged in no congregational 
act of worship. Each heart and soul is alone in the midst 
of a multitude — each uttering its own thoughts, each 
feeling its own grace. Yet are you overpowered, subdued, 
quelled into a reverential mood, softened into a devotional 
spirit, forced to meditate, to feel, to pray. The little 
children who come in are led by a mother's hand, kneel 
down by her in silence, as she simply points towards the 
altar, overawed by the still splendour before them; the 
very babe seems hushed to quiet rcA^erence on her bosom. 
The hurried passer by who merely looks in, cannot resist 
the impulse to sink, if only in a momentary genuflexion, 
upon his knees ; nay, the English scoffer, who will face 
anything else, will not venture to stalk as elsewhere up 
the nave heedless of other's sacred feelings, but must needs 
remain under the shadow of the doorway, or steal behind 
the shadow of the first pillar, if he wishes to look on with- 
out partaking."^ 

I do not say that such a rite is congenial to all minds, 
but I do say that it is distinctly an act of worship, and 
that this worship is addressed to Christ. It cannot halt at 
the symbol, for it is through the symbol that it reaches 
Christ, the God-man, at once spiritual and material, infinite 
and finite, everywhere present and local. 

I do not say that worship cannot be addressed to him 

anywhere, in the closet, on the high road, in tlie mountain 

solitude, and in the crowded thoroughfare. He is God, and 

1 Wiseman : Minor Eites and Offices. 
T 



290 CHRISTIANITY 



therefore He can hear and receive His creatnre anY^^'here 
and at any moment. But He is man also, and therefore 
He has His finite, local, material manifestation. Those 
who worship Him localized do not deny His ubiquity and 
^ omnipresence. Those who worship Him in vague im- 
mensity must not deny His local presence. These are 
two aspects of Christ, the object of worship — that which 
is infinite and divine, and that which is finite and 
human ; and these are not contradictory. 

It is the same with charity. How shall we exhibit love 
to God? — By our love to men. Suffering mankind is Christ 
suffering, and every act of mercy shewn to man is received 
by Christ. Every sufferer is Christ localized to accept our 
love. If Christ specializes himself to be the recipient of 
our charity, it is certain that He can specialize Himself to 
receive our worship. Though he accepts our love in the 
person of the poor, He does not accept our worship in their 
person, that is evident. Then He must have some other, 
but analogous, method of receiving our devotion and 
homage. " Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end 
of the world," said Christ, and the promise, according to 
the theory of the Church, is fulfilled. He is with us in 
the body of His Church authoritatively, with us in the 
person of His poor to receive our charity, with us in 
the sacramental species to dispense His grace and to 
receive our worship. Thus is He Emmanuel to the end 
of time. 

A modern traveller, writing his imjDressions of Western 
France, makes the following remark : " I do not think I 
ever went into a Eoman Catholic church anywhere without 
seeing two or three female figures. It has a conventional 
look. A query will come into one's mind whether it is 
not a part of the business of the priest to maintain and 



EMMANUEL 291 



keep up this air of life by a steady infliction of small pen- 
ance upon female members of the flock. Poor women sin 
a little bit, so often, and so easily ; and tlien it is so useful 
to send them to Church — does them good and has a 
pleasing effect."^ 

No, it is not that which sends them to the Church, it is 
the Sacred Presence on the altar which draws them with 
the cords of love. I have seen the market woman leave 
her basket on the portal step, the soldier, the peasant, and 
the little child enter and pay their "visit" to the blessed 
Sacrament, — an act of love and homage to Him Who made 
Himself of no reputation that He might win men througli 
their weakness. 

I was standing in the churchyard of Ventonne on the 
mountain side above the Ehone, watching the sun go down 
in glory over Sion. Strange sounds issued from the in- 
terior of the sacred building, and I entered it softly. ■ I 
found an idiot woman, with thin straggling grey hair, great 
blear eyes, and wan cheeks, kneeling at the chancel steps, 
wringing her hands, sobbing and praying. Apparently 
some one had injured her, some boys had pelted her with 
stones, and she had fled to the presence of her Emmanuel, 
to pour out into His sympathizing ear the story of her 
troubles. 

I was at the Cathedral of Sion on Sunday morning. A 
poor woman came in, radiant with joy, a piece of good 
fortune had befallen her — a cow had calved, and she 
brought a sprig of flowers, and gave it to the sacristan to 
insert in the vase beside the tabernacle, as she knelt to 
thank her Lord. 

To the Christian He is Emmanuel, God present to 
him in his joys and in his sorrows. In the deepest 
1 Louth: Wanderer in Western France, 1863, p. 307. 



CHRISTIANITY 



griefs, man puts out his hand as he sinks to catch Him ; 
in the greatest joys he looks to his Emmanuel to rejoice 
with him. He is Emmanuel to the child, to the youtli, 
to the adult, and to the aged ; God with us in work, in 
relaxation, at meals, and in sleep, Avith us in all tempta- 
tions to hold us back, with us in all good to urge us 
on, with us in life to be our guide, with us in death to open 
to us immortality. 



THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 293 



CHAPTER XVII 

• 

THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 

" Wherefore bends the yusi One, bleeding 
''Neath the Cross's weight laborious ?" — Heine. 

Sacrifice the expression of Love — not necessarily involving an idea of pain 
— The dogma of original sin signifies the prevalence of opposition and 
contradiction — The Protestant doctrine, the negation of all good in 
man ; The Catholic doctrine, the opposition of good faculties — The 
Incarnation the reconciliation of all oppositions — The Passion its neces- 
sary climax — Why suffering was necessary — Descent into the midst of 
every antagonism, sin and death — The Atonement is the restoration and 
reconciliation, completing the work of the Incarnation— Suffering touches 
a chord in man's nature — Justification the restoration of man by his 
co-operation — The Protestant doctrine different, the imputation of 
merits — The doctrine of vicarious suffering a Protestant theory — It 
makes God unjust — Summary. 

LOVE is unselfish. He who loves another delights in 
giving to the object of his love that which has not 
cost him nothing. Perhaps no more beautiful example of 
the primitive and true idea of sacrifice exists, than in the 
mutual oblation of husband and wife. The husband can 
enjoy no pleasure without desiring to make the wife par- 
ticipate in it. If he leave her for an excursion, his letters 
home descriptive of what he sees, the flowers he collects for 
her, the memorials of scenery he purchases to present to 
her, are all sacrifices. And the wife finds her pleasure in 



294 CHRISTIANITY 



the daily prevision and preparation of surprises for her 
lord. Every craftily compounded dish, every mended 
shirt and darned stocking is a holocaust. The joy of 
married Jife consists in this mutual sacrifice, this self- 
abnegation, this seeking satisfaction in the pleasure of the 
other. 

With what singleness of heart will not the mother sur- 
render her time, her rest, her pleasure to her little child ! 
The father takes no account of the cost to himself of his 
son in food and clothing. 

Parents are for ever performing sacrifice to their children ; 
and they find their delight in so doing, for sacrifice is the 
floriation of love. 

When love is mutual there is no pain in sacrifice, it is a 
continued delight ; but when one of the hearts is estranged, 
then anxiety and suffering step in. The husband tries a 
variety of gifts to please the wayward wife ; he descends 
to great privations if only he may recover her smiles. The 
wife tries all devices to reclaim the chilled heart of her 
husband ; there is nothing she will not deny herself, the 
very necessaries of life, to buy back the truant. 

When love is nnrufiled, there is no estimation of cost in 
the value of the present; the withered forget-me-not is 
more precious than the pearl necklace. But when there is 
estrangement it is different. Then the strayed love must 
be bought back, and bought back at great cost and suffering 
to the heart that loves still. 

If we apply this idea to God and man, and it must be so 
applied to all personalities which are related to one another, 
we shall see that to man unfallen, sacrifice and worship 
would be the joyous expression of adoring love and praise, 
without any admixture of the ideas of pain and suffering, 
such as we commonly associate with the term " sacrifice." 



THE DOGMA OF THE A TONEMENT 295 ' 



" All devotional feeling," it lias been truly said, " requires 
sacrificial expression." If man had never fallen, the most 
perfect sacrifice on his part would have been the outpour of 
his exuberant love in incessant worship, and the^nost per- 
fect sacrifice on God's part would have been the satisfaction 
of man's every want by new and newer manifestations of 
His unfathomable love. 

The idea contained in heathen sacrifice has been pointed 
out in the first volume. It was a compensation for some 
wrong supposed to have been done to God, or a bribe offered 
to an unpropitious Deity. The idea of expiatory sacrifice 
was also heathen. God was regarded as a hard, rigidly just 
Judge of men, who could not have mercy even if He would 
without violating His attribute of justice. 

None of these views are admissible to a Christian, for 
they militate against the fundamental dogma of the Incar- 
nation, which is the manifestation of the perfection of 
Divine Love. 

If the idea of pain has tinged the original idea of sacri- 
fice with purple, it is because man does not live in perfect 
harmony with God, there is discord in his own being and 
dissonance with others. But this may be regarded as an 
accident, an alteration of the primary idea, in which ther(^ 
is no pain, but unmixed happiness. And, observe, that in 
love there must be two personalities, or it is resolved into 
egoism which is not love, but the shadow of it. There is a 
constant approach and assimilation of the two individuali- 
ties, but never a fusion of one in the other. If pain enter 
into the idea of love and penetrate its expression, sacrifice, 
the reason is to be found in the contradiction of one per- 
sonality to the other, which contradiction cannot be recti- 
fied without suffering, and which will cease directly it is 
brought into harmony with the other personality. 



f 



296 CHRISTIANITY 



It is tliis contradiction and opposition in man which is 
called by Christians " sin," original and actual. 

Before proceeding further with the consideration of sacri- 
fice, it will be necessary to examine the nature of sin, and 
especially of original sin. 

According to the Christian theory man, when made by 
God, was perfectly good. He was like God, in that he had 
a free-will. He used his will aM^ong, he diverted it from 
the straight line of obedience, and fell under the power of 
contradiction, opposition, and negation. Originally man 
and woman were one — the male and female nature com- 
bined into one body ; then these w^ere separated, not to be 
opposed, but that a link of love might be called out to 
attach the two together, and bring them into one, wuthout 
for all that abdicating their individualities, — perhaps as a 
sort of figure to man of the relation in which he stood to 
God. And man's nature was then in perfect tune. His 
intellect and affections gave ideas complementary-coloured, 
and his animal nature did not rebel against his spiritual 
nature ; nor did discord enter into the only social relation 
that existed, his union with the woman. 

But when, by an act of will, he opposed God, all was 
altered. The harmony was dissolved, the Sabbath was 
broken ; in man the animal nature resisted the mind, the 
reason opposed the sentiment ; egoism and solidarity pre- 
sented opposite interests, man tyrannized over woman, and 
woman demoralized man; society rose up against the 
individual to tread him into a dead level of commonplace, 
and the individual fought with society and strove to subju- 
gate it to his will — 

" And storms confused above us lower, 
Of hopes and fears, and joy and woe ; 



THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 297 

And scarcely e'en for one half-hour 
Is silence in God's house below." 

Every evil that the world groans under is caused by this 
antagonism of interests; the passions binding the strong 
mind and dragging it from its pinnacle into tlie mire ; the 
mind battling with its body as with a wild beast, and taming 
it with wrathful austerities ; the intellect casting out the 
affections into the cold, to the intent that they may die ; the 
feelings overwhelming the mind in flowers, and reason yield- 
ing to the lethargy — 

' ' Why are we weighed upon with heaviness, 

And utterly consumed with sharp distress. 

While all things else have rest from weariness ? 

All things have rest : why should we toil alone, 

We only toil, who are the first of things, 

And make perpetual moan ; 

Still from one sorrow to another thrown : 

There is no joy but calm ! 

Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things ?"^ 

Nation against nation, peoples against kings, rich against 

poor, brother against brother, man with a rope round his 

neck destroying himself, man turning his back on Paradise 

and denying God. 

" From whence come wars and fightings among you ? 

Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your 

members ? Ye lust, and have not ; ye kill, and desire to 

have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have 

not;" or, as Dante says — 

" They smite each other not alone with hands, 
But with the head and with the breast and feet, 
Tearing each other piecemeal with their teeth. "^ 

All the natural faculties remain, but not united like tlie 
cells of the honey bee, but opposed, out of control, thrown 
into confusion. 

^ Tennyson : Lotos Eaters. ^ Dante : Inferno. 



298 CHRISTIANITY 



Free-will is impaired, but not destroyed ; ratlier let us 
say, it is distracted. Man is out of harmony with himself, 
with mankind, with creation, and with God. 

The reconciliation needed is not to be sought in God, but 
in man. Man must be brought into harmony with God, 
not God with man ; the turbid, troubled pool must become 
limpid and still before it can reflect the sun overhead, the 
sun has not to be rectified by the pool. 

Original sin is a fact as well as a doctrine, it causes per- 
plexity to the Deist as well as to the Christian. We can- 
not deny that discord does exist in the world of men, and 
we cannot have learned the alphabet of our own nature if 
we deny that there is conflict within ourselves. But this 
is nothing else except original sin. 

The word has an ugly sound ; it is a horrible fact ; but it 
is not so bad as it has been drawn. The exaggeration to 
which the fact has been dogmatically developed must be 
briefly stated. 

According to the language of the Augsburg Confession, 
man is " born with sin, without fear of God or confidence 
in Him;" in the language of the Formulary of Concord, 
he has lost all, even the slightest capacity and aptitude and 
power in spiritual things ; he has lost the faculty of know- 
ing God, and the will to do anything that is good ; he can 
no more lead a good life than a stock or a stone ; everything 
good in him is utterly obliterated. There is also a positive 
ingredient of sin infused into the veins of every man. Sin 
is, according to Luther, of the essence of man. Original sin, 
transmitted from father to son, is not, as the Church 
teaches, the loss of supernatural grace co-ordinating all 
man's faculties, and their consequent disorder ; it is some- 
thing born of the father and mother. The clay of which we 
are formed is damnable, the foetus in the mother's Avomb is 



THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 299 

sin, man with his whole natm-e and essence is not only a 
sinner, but sin. Such are the expressions of Luther, en- 
dorsed by Quenstadt. Melancthon and the Formulary are 
equally explicit. Man receives from his parents a con- 
genital evil force, a native impulse to sin ; there is sub- 
stituted in the place of the image of God an " intimate, 
most evil, most profound, inscrutable, ineffable corruption 
of our whole nature, and all its powers," which is implanted 
in the intellect, heart, and will. The results of this view, 
as regards the whole condition of the heathen world, and 
the gradual lightening of consciences and preparation for 
the Incarnation, on which the Fathers insist, contradict of 
course alike the witness of history and the instincts of our 
moral nature. Heathen virtues are scarcely even " splendid 
vices." Melancthon calls them "shadows of virtues;" he 
says that all men's works and all their endeavours are sins, 
that the constancy of Socrates, the chastity of Xenocrates, 
the temperance of Zeno, are vices. Luther himself says 
that men's works, however specious and good they may 
appear, are probably mortal sins, a doctrine which Bishop 
Beveridge accepted, as shewn by the j)assage quoted in a 
former chapter. 

Calvin clenches the matter by observing that from man's 
corrupted nature comes only what is damnable.^ " Man," 
says he, " has been so banished from the kingdom of God, 
that all in him that bears reference to the blessed life of 
the soul is extinct." "■^ And if men have any glimpses of 
better things, it is only that He may take from them every 
excuse when He damns them.^ 

1 Oxenliaiu : On the Atonement, 1869, pp. 211, 212. Moeler's Sjnn- 
bolik, bk. i. c. 2. 

2 Institutes, lib. ii. c. 2, sec. 12. 

3 lUd. sec. 18. 



300 CHRISTIANITY 



Opposed to this pessimism is the Catholic doctrine of 
original sin, which is simple and natural, and commends 
itself to common sense, whereas the other is difficult and 
revolting to the moral conscience. 

The doctrine of the Church on this subject is what has 
been already laid down, the introduction of schism into man 
and into the world. This condition is transmitted from 
father to son. 

The fathers of the Council of Trent attribute to fallen man 
free-will, representing it, how^ever, as very much weakened, 
and in consequence teach that not every religious and moral 
action of man is necessarily sinful, though it is imperfect. 
Wlien Eacine read before Louis XIV. his grand strophes — 

' ' Mou Dieu, quelle guerre cruelle ! 
Je trouve deux lionimes en moi ; 
L'un veut que plein d'amour de toi 
Mon coeur te soit toujours fidele, 
L'autre a ta volonte rebelle, 
Me revolte centre ta loi. 

Helas ! en guerre avee moi-meme 
Ou jiourrai-je trouver la paix ? 
Je veux et n'accomplis jamais. 
Je Teux, mais (0 misere extreme !) 
Je ne fais pas le bien que j'aime, 
Et je fais le mal que je liais ! " 

"Ah!" exclaimed the king, "those are two men that I 
know very well." And so does every one, though he may 
not choose to confess it ; even Faust when about to sur- 
render himself to Satan : — 

" Two souls, alas! are lodged within my breast, 
AVhicli struggle there for undivided reign : 
One to the world, with obstinate desire, 
And closely cleaving organs, still adlieres. 
Above the mist the other doth aspire. 
With sacred vehemence, to piirer spheres." 



THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 301 

There is tliis difference between the Christian doctrine of 
the Fall and that of Greeks and Eomans. The latter placed 
their Golden Age in the past, and made man gradually de- 
teriorate, and held out no hope of renovation for the future ; 
whereas the Cliristian believes that the Fall is a thing of 
the past, out of which mankind is being gradually recovered, 
with perfection in full view on the horizon. Man is a house 
divided against itself. He is a beautiful instrument whose 
strings are in discord ; a chime 



"C5"- 



" Of sweet bells jangled out of tune ; " 

a city wrecked by an earthquake. Then comes the In- 
carnation. He is provided with the Conciliator, with One 
whose note is so clear and true, that he can raise the pitch 
of all his strings by that, and thus restore the lost music 
of the world. 

As man had used his free-will for a wrong end, and had 
warped it, the example of another free-will, that never 
turned aside from what was right, becomes to him the rule 
by which his own crooked will may be straightened. 

The Incarnation is the crowning act of that love which 
alone explains creation. It is God sacrificing Himself to 
man to restore the relations between them disturbed by 
man's fall ; to infuse into him the spirit of order, whereby all 
those disorganized faculties, so very good in themselves, may 
fit into each other and form a complete synthesized whole ; 
and man may not only be brought into a state of peace 
with himself and peace with God, but also society may be 
restored on the true foundations of universal charity. 

To meet man and obtain his love, by which alone this 
reconciliation can be effected, the love of God feels on and 
on through life, through want and suffering, through con- 
tradiction and opposition, through error and violence, into 



302 CHRrSTIANITY 



the abyss of negation which is death, to pick up the broken 
thread of man's affection and restore the circle of charity. 

By Atonement is meant the at-one-ment, the reconcilia- 
tion of those who are estranged. God was not estranged 
from man. God is perfect love, it was man who had lost him- 
self in a darkness of negation, and God's love, like a beam 
of light, shot down the gulf to fall on his face and illumine 
it when he lay in the shadow of death and despair. 

The passion of Christ, which is a dogma following the 
Incarnation in the creed of the Church, is its necessary 
consequence. If Christ be God, made Man in order to re- 
store the world to that condition of harmony Avhich was shat- 
tered at the Fall, it is necessary, not merely that He should 
enter into the world, but that He should penetrate aU its 
phases of disorganization. Thus He must enter into all ojjpo- 
sitions, to stand between them and bring them together again. 

As the Incarnation is the manifestation of perfect love, 
there can be no compulsion exercised by the God-Man from 
without on two conflicting elements. He must mediate 
between them, not force them into unity. 

And as the contrariety of the elements in man and in 
society is the cause of aU suffering, Christ must enter into 
this contrariety and undergo its consequence, suffering, be- 
fore He can remove the contradiction. 

As in man's own nature there is antinomy, Christ must 
feel that antinomy. And thus He is represented in the 
Gospels as endowed with two wills, and the conflict ap- 
pears in the agony in Gethsemane, when He prays that if 
possible the cup may pass from Him ; " nevertheless not as 
I will, but as Thou wilt." There is the opposition, but 
there is also the reconciliation. 

As in society there is antinomy, Christ must feel that 
antinomy. And thus He undergoes His Passion among 



THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 303 



tlie Jews and Eomans. Jerusalem was a microcosm of 
iniquity ; it contained witliin its walls the adulterous king, 
the unjust craven judge, the envious priests, the fickle, 
blood-thirsty people. To enter the shadow of its houses 
was to suffer pain. But it w\as not the sin of Jerusalem 
alone into which Christ must be held to have phmged ; for 
it was not to reconcile Jerusalem alone that He is supposed 
to have died. He must in some mysterious and inexj^licable 
manner have entered into the sin of all the world, into that 
dissolution of all humanity, individual and organized, which 
is sin. 

Entering into this whirl of antagonism, in which all re- 
lationships are broken, all union is shattered, and every- 
thing is dishonoured, the spiritual enslaved to the physical, 
the material itself made subject to the law of decay, the 
conquest of the material over the physical, Christ must have 
suffered more acutely than man can conceive. 

When any refined and sensitive nature is brought in 
contact with evil, it suffers. I have seen the clean maidenly 
soul receive its first knoAvledge of evil, of the horrible dis- 
solution of the moral and animal lives; it has quivered 
with agony and shrivelled up as the sensitive plant, but 
it has not been itself injin-ed. The knowledge of evil has 
been to it as the shadow of the passing cloud, darkening but 
not staining. 

Let any delicate-minded man pass an hour in a public- 
house amongst the coarse topers, it will be to him an hour 
of poignant suffering. Let an artist open his treasures to a 
man of a practical turn of mind, that is, a man as low as he 
well can l3e ; and the vulgar appreciation will cause all the 
fibres of his higher nature to thrill with pain. 

But to elevate and purify what is jarring, gross, and 
base, it is necessary to descend to the level of those natures 



304 CHRISTIANITY 



without surrender of one's own nature. To rescue the fallen 
woman, the sister of charity has often to seek her in her 
den of infamy, to recover the drunkard the priest has some- 
times to enter the beer-shop, to refine the taste of the vulgar 
the organizer of the popular concert has to descend to 
inartistic music. No principle is surrendered, but the con- 
descension causes pain, for the higher nature trembles and 
suffers when brought in contact with that wdiich is inferior, 
not because it was by nature inferior, but because it is de- 
graded. The contact of man with bird and flower causes 
no shudder because bird and flower occupy their true 
position in the scale of creatures, but the contact of man 
with degenerate man revolts, because the latter has fallen 
out of his place in the rank and has broken the order of 
beings; he is a note out of tune, a discordant colour, a 
faulty step in an argument. 

And wha,t is death ? That also is opposition. Life is the 
exact balancing by force and material expended of force 
and material acquired. When the balance is disturbed 
sickness ensues, when the latter predominates to the ex- 
clusion of the other death results. As I said in the first 
chapter, the law of organic life and that of inorganic matter 
conflict in man. Life is motion, the constant reparation 
of the body wasted by exertion. When the law of inorganic 
matter has thrown insurmountable obstacles in the way of 
the renovating stream, death ensues, matter has conquered 
life. 

Death is to the body what sin is to the soul, a degrada- 
tion, through the lower power mastering the higher. When 
the animal nature treads out the life of the spiritual nature, 
man is lowered to the beast ; — that is sin. 

When man's egoism is so exclusive that it encases him 
in an impenetrable cuirass, living for himself alone, he 



THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 305 

falls from the condition of a social man to that of a selfish 
barbarian ; — that also is sin. 

In both cases there is a negation of what is nobler ; the 
lower is opposed to the higher quality, fights with it and 
overpowers it. 

Death is of precisely a similar character, it is the inferior, 
mineral law conquering the superior, physical law. 

If Christ was to be the reconciler of all oppositions, — 
and this is what He is assumed to be, — then His Passion is 
an inevitable result, rendered inevitable by the fall of 
man. He must descend into sin to bring together again 
into peace and good will the animal life and the spiritual 
life, egoism and solidarity. He must descend into death 
to reunite in mutual peace the law of inorganic matter and 
the law of physical life. 

What is the dogma of the Eesurrection but the conse- 
quence of this hypothesis, the work done which by the Incar- 
nation Christ is believed to have undertaken ? In His own 
risen body both laws are reconciled ; It can live on for ever, 
there being no more opposition. In our own risen bodies 
both laws will be reconciled, we shall live for ever, because, 
through the work of the Universal Conciliator, the opposi- 
tion will have ceased universally. 

Again, the Incarnation is the manifestation of perfect 

love, but perfect love cpnnot halt at anything short of the 

extreme disintegration wrought by the Fall. Chiist must 

sacrifice Himself wholly to man, or His love is not sufficient 

to draw man to Him. He must enter into man's joys and 

man's woes, to meet him at every turn of the winding lane 

of life. Love is not satisfiGd till it has made every sacrifice 

that is in its power to make, and no more complete sacrifice 

can be imagined than that of honour, ease, and finally of life. 

U 



3o6 CHRISTIANITY 



The narrative of Christ's life is therefore one of con- 
tinuovis sacrifice, of emptying HimseK of everything in 
the overflowing Passion of His love, counting all as nought 
if only He might catch man's eye and draw him towards 
Himself 

He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Sach 
is reported by the Evangelist to be the account He gave 
of His mission. 

He came to seek in the grotto of Betlilehem for the 
love of little children, in Egypt for the exile from father- 
land, in the workshop of Nazareth for the labouring man, 
in the desert for the solitary, in the crowd for the busy 
traffickers, in the temple for the priest, in the synagogue 
for the student, by the sea-side on the grassy flats for the 
hungry, on the shore to which the disappointed fishers 
drew their empty nets, for hearts heavy with failure ; at 
tlie marriage feast for the light-spirited, by the gate of 
Nain for the bereaved, on the mountain top for the ascetic, 
by the well for the weary, in the garden for the agonized 
soul, in the palace for the calumniated and misunderstood, 
on the pavement for those whom men deride and maltreat, 
on the stairs for those whom men reject with contumely, 
on the cross for those in acute bodily suffering, in death 
for those at their last gasp. 

He came to seek, by every means love could devise, 
nothing too self-sacrificing, nothing too costly, nothing too 
trivial : Peter was sought by a look, Matthew by a word, 
the Samaritan woman by her pitcher, she with the issue 
of blood by the fringe of His robe ; some by their o^^■n 
infirmities, others by their fears for those they loved ; the 
palsied by his stiffened joints, Jairus by his little daughter, 
Bartimseus by his darkened eyes, the centurion by his 
fevered servant, the sons of Zebedee by their drag-net. 



THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 307 



Judas by tlie kiss, the thief by his cross, the soldier by His 
X)ierced side. 

What more effectual method for eliciting love ? And love 
it was necessary to obtain, for by love alone can man's rela- 
tion to God and consequent restoration to unity be effected. 

There was no necessity, some theologians have taught, 
for Christ to have died ; but as S. Bernard says, " Perhaps 
that method is the best, whereby in a land of forgetfulness 
and sloth we might be more powerfully and vividly re- 
minded of our fall, through the so great and so manifold 
sufferings of Him who repaired it." 

" Pain is one of the deepest and truest things in our 
nature ; we feel instinctively that it is so, even before we 
can tell why. Pain is what binds us most closely to one 
another and to God. It appeals most directly to our sym- 
pathies, as the very structure of our language indicates. 
To go no further than our own, we have English words, 
such as condolence, to express sympathy with grief; we 
have no one word to express sympathy with joy. So, 
again, it is a common remark that, if a funeral and wedding 
procession were to meet, something of the shadow of death 
would be cast over the bridal train, but no reflection of 
bridal happiness would pass into the mourners' hearts. 
Scripture itself has been not inaptly called ' a record of 
luiman sorrow.' The same name might be given to 
history. Friendship is scarcely sure till it has been proved 
in suffering, but the cliains of an affection riveted in the 
fiery furnace are riot easily broken. So much then at least 
is clear, that the Passion of Jesus was the greatest revela- 
tion of His sympathy ; ' Greater love hath no man than 
this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.' And 
hence fathers and schoolmen alike conspire to teach, that 
one reason wdiy He chose the road of suffering was to knit 



3o8 CHRISTIANITY 



us more closely to Himself. For this He exalted His 
head, not on a throne of earthly glory, but on the cross of 
death. It is, indeed, no accident of the few, but a law of 
our present being, which the poet's words express : 

' That to tlie Cross the mourner's eye sliould turn 
Sooner than where the stars of Christmas burn.' 

For all, in their several ways and degrees, are mourners. 
The dark threads are woven more thickly than the bright 
ones into the tangled skein of human life ; and as time 
passes on, the conviction that it is so is brought home to us 
with increasing force." ^ 

The dogma of Justification is closely allied to that of the 
Atonement. 

According to the teaching of the Church, Justification is 
the exaltation of man from a state of sinfulness to that of 
grace ; an annihilation of the will opposed to God, which 
throws man into anarchy, and the contraction of fellowship 
with Christ, for the renewal of the inward man and the 
restoration of mankind to the primeval state of humanity.'' 
" They all agreed (at Trent)," says Pallavicini, " on the 
signification of the name Justification, that it was a transi- 
tion from a state of enmity to a state of friendship, and of 
adoptive sonship to God."^ To man is im/partcd, not im- 
puted, the grace of God, to rise from his condition of nega- 
tion, opposition, and universal antagonism into a state of 
unity, tranquillity, and charity. 

" The death of Christ justifies us," says the Master of 
Sentences, " by exciting His love in our hearts." " We 
were reconciled to God, when He already loved us. For 

1 Oxenham : Toctrine of the Atonement, 1869, jip. 290-292. 
^ Coneil. Trid., sess. vi. c. 5, 7. 
3 Lib. viii. c. 4, p. 259. 



THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 309 



He did not begin to love us from the time we were recon- 
ciled to Him by His Son's blood, but before the world, and 
before we existed. How then were we reconciled to God 
when He loved us ? On account of our sins we were at 
enmity with Him, who had love towards us, even while 
we showed our enmity against Him by working iniquity. 
. . . Christ, therefore, is called a Mediator, because stand- 
ing between men and God, He reconciles them to God. 
But He reconciles them, by taking from the sight of God 
what offends in man, that is, by destroying sins which 
offended God and made us His enemies." And again, 
" He reconciled all believers by His death to God, since all 
were healed of their iniquities who by believing God loved 
the humility of Christ, and by loving imitated it." ^ Nothing- 
can be simpler. Man in a state of discord, by faith accepts 
Christ ; his love to God is restored. He stands on another 
footing, or turns in another direction ; he no more contem- 
plates his shadow, but faces the sun. To recur to an illus- 
tration already used, He accepts Christ's life as the pitch 
pipe to the relaxed chords of his own being, and he spends 
the rest of his days in tuning up string after string to har- 
mony with that note. 

But the Protestant doctrine is qiiite another thing. 

As Luther had denied man free-will, and the smallest 
capacity of doing good, co-operation on his part is an im- 
possibility ; the whole work must be done for him. And 
so it is. Terrified by the preaching of a law he is power- 
less to obey, he listens to and grasps at the merits of Christ, 
and is thus justified. His repentance, such as it is, springs 
out of fear, not love. Justification, according to the For- 
mulary, is simply acquittal from sin and its eternal penal- 
ties " on account of the righteousness of Christ which is 

1 Pet. Lombard : Seuteut. iii. 9. 



3IO CHRISTIANITY 



(not imparted but) imimted to faitli," and tliat, while by- 
reason of their corrupt nature men continue to sin, sinful 
acts are not sinful in the justified ; and consequently Lutlier 
lays down the revolting doctrine that fornication, adultery, 
theft, and murder, committed by tlie justified are no more 
sinful. 

The doctrine of vicarions suffering is one which was 
introduced at the Eeformation, to account for the death of 
Christ, the Catholic dogma of sacrifice having been aban- 
doned or put on one side. 

The Eeformers taught that the Almighty had laid down a 
law that punishment must be the penalty of sin, and that 
to liberate man from the law, Christ took npon Himself the 
penalty for the sin of the w^orld, and suffered instead of 
man. It was not, as had often been taught before, that 
His obedience was an acceptable sacrifice, but that it was 
accepted by God instead of the penalty due from us, which 
we, with a nature so hopelessly corrupted, could never our- 
selves pay. As our sins were excessive, excessive suffering 
was due to God, and this Christ endured instead of us. He 
was punished and accursed in our place. Quenstadt main- 
tained that for God to pardon us without satisfaction is 
against His nature, His veracity. His sanctity, and His 
justice; yet he explained, that "by a certain kind of 
relaxation of the laAV," another person is substituted for 
the debtor. In other words, though it is matter of indis- 
pensable justice to the nature of God to punish sin, it is 
immaterial whether He punishes the right person or the 
wrong one. Suffering is His due, and He will have it. " It 
is not too much to say that the Lutheran view of the Atone- 
ment, with, whatever occasional similarities of language, 
is a complete innovation in all its essential points on that 
previously held, and in a sense directly calculated to dis- 



THE DOGMA OF THE ATONEMENT 311 

credit the whole doctrine in the eye both of reason and of 
relioion."^ 

Calvin retained the new ideas of a substituted obedience 
and punishment, and he expressly asserted that our obliga- 
tion of suffering for our sins and the curse entailed were 
transferred to the Son of God ; and, as the pangs of death on 
the Cross did not seem to him sufficient, he added, with 
Quenstadt and Gerhard, that He expiated the requisite 
tortures in the flames of Hell. 

Some theologians have attempted to justify this vicarious 
suffering by instancing the law observable in the world of 
penalty for misdeeds not always falling on the doers of 
evil.' Louis XIV. sacrificed five thousand lives in the 
marshes of Maintenon to convey water to his fountains at 
Versailles, and the penalty fell on the widows and orphans. 
Louis XV. ruined the exchequer, and Louis XVI. lost his 
head for the misdeeds of his ancestor. Such being the 
law, the penalty fell on Christ instead of us. But surely 
this is not law, but the violation of law through the disor- 
ganization of society. What sort of justice would that be 
which because A had stolen a sheep hanged Z ? It would 
be the acme of injustice. To make the disorder of justice 
the rule for God, is to subordinate Him to the evil in the 
world. When Grotius put the question whether it was 
unjust that Christ should be punished for our sins, he 
answered it in the negative ; because, as he said, it generally 
happens that there is malversation of justice in the world, 
and because, as a fact, God did visit His most innocent 
Son with the bitterest torments and death, and God cannot 

^ Oxenham, p. 216. 

" See for the argument in favour of vicarious suffering, " The Philosophy 
of Evangelicism," 1867. 



312 CHRISTIANITY 



be unjust. That is, what is unjust in man is just in God. 
But it is begging the whole question to say that it was not 
unjust because He did so punish the just for the unjust. 

If the inequalities of the earth are the law of God's 
dealings, alas ! for the new heavens and new earth wherein 
dwelleth righteousness, when righteousness is equivalent 
to injustice. 

Both the Protestant doctrines of original sin and vicarious 
sacrifice have no positive element in them, they are mere 
negations, upon which a horrible system has been erected, 
repugnant to the essence of Christianity and to the moral 
sense. The Protestant doctrine of original sin is the nega- 
tion of all trace of good in man. The doctrine of vicarious 
sacrifice is the negation of divine justice. 

To sum up in few words the Catholic doctrine as deduced 
from the premises already laid down :— 

The Incarnation being the perfect manifestation of Divine 
Love, Christ must exhibit the most perfect self-sacrifice. 

The object of the Incarnation being the restoration of man's 
disorganized nature, Christ must descend to the deptlis of 
this disorganization in order to reconcile what is opposed. 

As all the faculties of man are positively good and only 
negatively evil by their being disordered and opposed, Jus- 
tification is the restoration of these faculties to their proper 
order. 

But this can only be effected by man recognizing and 
loving God. 

Therefore Christ in His infinite love condescends to seek 
man in every phase of life, and even in death, to obtain his 
love, and thus lead him into the way of reconciliation. 

The Atonement is the perfect reconciliation of man in 
himself, and man with man, and man wdth God. 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE S'S 



CHAPTER XVIII 

THE CHKISTIAN SACRIFICE 

"Quid retribnaiH Dotnhio, pro omnibiis q-icce retribuit )nihi? 
Tibi sacrificabo Iwstiaiii laudis, et Novicn Domini iuvocabo." 

— Ps. cxv. (cxvi.) 12, 17. 

The Holy Communion the application of the Atonement — The Resurrection 
of the body one result oT the Atonement — The Eucharist not a com- 
memoration of the death of Christ only — The necessity man feels of 
offering Sacrifice — As the link between man and God is love, of which 
sacrifice is the expression, the restoration of love is the restoration of 
sacrifice — Love the motive of asceticism — Love the motive of action in 
the material order — also in the spiritual order — The love of man to 
God necessitates the Eucharistic sacrifice — That sacrifice identical with 
the sacrifice on Calvary — Christ, as head of humanity, combined in His 
Passion the idea of sacrifice to God with that of sacrifice to man — The 
idea of sacrifice an enigma to those who do not love — The idea of com- 
pensation creates ritual splendour — The love of the Cliurch for Christ 
overflows in rite and symbol. 

WE have seen the Sacrifice of Clirist under one aspect 
alone, tliat of an atonement, and we liave seen that 
by atonement is not meant the payment of so much suf- 
fering to tlie Almighty as expiation for the sins of men, 
but the sacrifice to man of everything, as a complete epi- 
phany of the love of God ; the descent of God into the 
anarchy of human nature to restore to that nature its lost 
principle of cohesion and order, by which alone it can 
reach its perfection. 



314 CHRISTIANITY 



The colierence of the sacramental system with this 
dogma is obvious. 

If Christ came to restore to man what M^as lost by tlie 
fall, by placing him in a true relation to God, by means of 
which all his other relations will fall into place, it is evi- 
dent that the introduction of this new principle into man 
is a first necessity; and that this new principle can be 
nothing other than Christ Himself, perpetually present in 
His Church for this purpose. 

The law of the Incarnation is the indissoluble union of 
the material and the spiritual in all Christ's operations 
upon man. 

The material is nothing without the spiritual, and the 
spiritual has accepted the condition of acting through the 
material. The Holy Communion therefore, in the Cliristian 
system, is the application to men of the atonement of 
Christ. 

Let me place the argument syllogistically. 

Christ is God and man, the spiritual and the material 
united. In Him this union was effected for the restoration 
of man, in whom the spiritual and the material are at 
variance. 

To reconcile the spiritual and the material Christ must 
touch both. 

Therefore His atonement must be applied sacramentally. 

Also, Christ came to restore the harmony between man's 
opposed spiritual faculties. 

Therefore Christ must enter spiritually into man. 

Christ came to restore the harmony between man's 
opposed physical and material natures, i.e., to give life, by 
restoring the equipoise between the renovation and the 
waste of his body. 

Therefore Christ must enter materially into man. 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 3^5 



But it is impossible to separate tlie spiritual from the 
material in Christ, for they are iudissolubly united. 

Therefore again the application of the atonement must be 
sacramental. 

It will be objected to this that Christ came, not to save 
men's bodies, but their souls. 

This is a contravention, of the whole system. 

Is there, or is there not, an opposition in men's bodies? 
In another word — Do they die? This cannot be doubted. 

Then there is antinomy in their bodies. 

If Christ took a human body, it must liave been to 
restore the equilibrium betw^een the opposing forces in the 
human body. For He came to be the universal Con- 
ciliator. 

Death is a phase of opposition. He came to destroy all 
opposition. Therefore He came to destroy death. 

But He could not destroy death without taking upon 
Himself a body. And He could not infuse into us the prin- 
ciple of conciliation between the opposing forces except by 
contact with our material bodies. Therefore He must be 
present with His Church in some material fashion by means 
of which He can effect the regeneration of our bodies. 

The renovation of our moral life is the effect of the con- 
ciliation wrought by Christ acting spiritually on our 
spiritual natures. The restoration of our bodies, i.e. the 
resurrection of the dead, is the effect of the conciliation 
wrought by Christ acting materially on our material bodies. 

The dogma of the Resurrection depends necessarily on 
the docma of the Incarnation, and sacramental communion 
is the logical link and efficient cause, the link uniting the 
body of man with the body of Christ, and the cause of the 
resurrection of man by union with Christ. 

As Christ is double, His action on men must be double. 



3i6 CHRISTIANITY 



As man is double, he needs a donl:»le action for his proper 
restoration. 

As Christ is indissolubly one, so His mode of acting on 
men must be spiritual and material at once; that is, it nmst 
be sacramental. 

The popular idea of the Eucharist is that it is a com- 
memoration of the death of Christ. No doubt by a stretch 
of the imagination the ceremony may remind the com- 
municant of Christ's Passion. But it must be allowed that 
it is scarcely possible to devise any more unlikely method 
of reproducing the scene on Calvary. The white cloth on 
the table, the paten and chalice muffled in linen, the priest 
wandering about the altar in his surplice and scarf and 
hood, the communicating of the kneeling recipients — in 
what single feature does it revive the event of Good Friday, 
the three crosses, the black heavens, and the piercing cries 
of the sufferer? 

A crucifix, or the lection of the Gospel narrative of the 
Passion, is far more calculated to revive the memory of the 
atonement. Nothing more incongruous and irrational than 
the Protestant theory of the Eucharist can well be con- 
ceived. 

That the Eucharist is a commemoration of the sacrifice 
of Christ is distinctly taught by the Church, but not that 
it is a commemoration to the assistants alone. The 
Catholic theory is that it is a sacrifice to God, the offering 
to God the Father of the life and passion of Christ. 

This is the dogma to be considered in this chapter. 

Sacrifice, I have said, is the language of love, the expres- 
sion of mutual attachment. Thus the death of Christ was 
the culminating instance to men of a life of love manifest 
in self-abnegation for their sake. It was the sacrifice 
offered by God to man to recover his heart. 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 317 



Directly man begins to love God, the want breaks out 
witliin him of offering sacrifice to God. As he realizes 
how great was the love of God to him, how marvellous was 
His self-oblation, the desire becomes so imperious that he 
is ready to resign everything, he yearns to suffer even, in 
order that he may speak through his actions his gratitude 
to God. He knows well enough that all he can offer in 
return for what has been done for him is notliing, and yet 
he cannot restrain himself from making what return lies 
in his power. 

" Love so amazing, so divine. 

Demands ray love, my life, my all ! " 

As the mute stutters when excited, and is tortured with 
desire to give utterance to the passion which boils in his 
veins, so is man in an agony of impotence when inflamed 
with love to God, desiring but unable to express his passion 
except rudely and inadequately. The self-maceration of 
ascetics arises from no other cause ; the Catholic recluse 
who imposes austerities upon himself does not suffer; he 
joys in his penances, because they ease his soul of its inex- 
tinguishable love. He knows perfectly well that God does 
not desire pain, and loves not to see him suffer, but he is 
impelled by the force of his own nature to follow S. Peter, 
who, when from the ship he recognized his Lord, deserted 
companions, brothers, and means of subsistence, and plunged 
into the sea to swim towards Him. 

This explains what must otherwise appear inexplicable 
to those who have made the acquaintance of ascetics, — 
their joyousness of spirit. There is no gloom and sadness. 
QvZkv yap eyova-i XvTnjpuv, said S. Chrysostom of the 
coenobites in his day, and it applies equally to tliose 
in our own. Eogers says of the monks of the Great 
S. Bernard, — 



3i8 CHRISTIANITY 



" They were as gay, as free from guile, 
As children ; answering, and at once, to all 
The gentler impulses, to pleasure, mii-th ; 

Mingling, at intervals, with rational talk 
Music." 

And Tasso, in apostropliizing a Benedictine abbey, ex- 
claims : — 

"What delightful silence, pleasant abode, and how cheerful.'''''^ 

This is perfectly true, the ascetic is the happiest man in 
the world. Do you doubt it ? Visit a Trappist monastery or 
a convent of Carmelite nuns, and you will be convinced by 
their radiant countenances and beaming eyes. 

That which constitutes the ascetic is love ; and the true 
ascetic always overflows with charity : — 

"Vast was the love which from your chalices, 
Mysterious monks ! with a full heart ye drew : 
Ye loved with ardent souls ! Oh, happy lot for you!"^ 

" It is always a question ^\'itll me," says a Protestant 
traveller who visited the Trappist convent of La Melleray, 
" what is the basis of this overflowing warmth of affection 
which monks always shew to any one of us wanderers of 
the outer world whenever we happen to throw any little 
tenderness into our manner towards them ? I find this 
invariably the case. Perhaps it is that these men are always 
walking along their path of life ^\'ith the words, Love of 
God, Love of their fellow -creature on their lips, and that 
thereby a certain stock of sensibility is created, which is 
ready to overflow at any moment upon any one who, by 
word or act, touches the spring, or utters the ' Open 
Sesame.' "^ 

1 " Silenzi amici, e vaghe chiostre, e liete ! " 

2 Alfred de Musset : EoUa. 

3 Louth : Wanderer in Western France, p . 263 : compare also M. Algernon 
Taylor's Monasteries of France. 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 319 

111 tlie purely material life, tlie object man sets before 
him, and the motives that determine him, are furnished by 
the sensations of liis organism or by his passions, which 
may all be resumed in love, concentrated on self. But that 
he may act in the higher spiritual order, he needs a new 
principle of action, not blind like tliat of his animal nature, 
nor placed in himself, but conscient, free, and external. 
This principle is love, but love of a different kind. In the 
first order, the end is self ; in the second, it is God. In the 
first the motive of determination is pleasure ; in the second, 
it is sacrifice, the outward form of love. 

In the history of the human race, the first of these two 
orders is represented by pagan antiquity. Love could not 
attach itself to the infinite. Intellect could do this ; but 
this infinite was only, like thought itself, an abstract, meta- 
physical infinity, and not a living, real, personal God. 
Consequently the only means l)y which the spiritual nature 
could attach itself to God, was liy love of the only sensible 
manifestation it knew, the world; and it darkened into 
Pantheism. This is the sole form of religion possible in 
which the affections can find play, outside of Christianity 
in its full acceptation. 

If modern feeling in Protestant countries has turned to 
Pantheism once more, it is because the Eeformation destroyed 
the significance of the Incarnation. " They have taken away 
my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." The 
ideal of the spiritual and moral life having been given ex- 
clusively by science, it became an exercise of the intellect, 
not an aspiration of the heart. Consequently it was some- 
thing to be concluded, not to be loved. Pure science at- 
tempted to determine the notion of God and of our relations 
with Him. This inspired all initiators of philosophic re- 
ligions. But this thought of the Infinite being only ob- 



320 CHRISTIANITY 



tained by the negation of the finite, God, tlius negatively 
conceived, became the ideal of Buddhism, the Being abso- 
lutely incomprehensible, the Great Nothing. 

Christ came. At once the axis of human life is displaced. 
To science succeeds love, not to the exclusion of reason, but 
to its harmonization with the truths of the heart. To love 
God, to love mankind, to love all creation is the revelation 
of Christ. This religion combines mysticism, positivism, 
and pantheism. For what is mysticism but the love of the 
Ideal alone ? What is positi^dsm but the love of humanity 
alone ? What is pantheism but the love of creation alone ? 
They are three passions, like the three primary colours ; but 
Christianity combines them into pure light. 

This love, Avhich is possible now that God is Incarnate, 
is the motor of the spiritual life, the cause of unity. " It 
appears manifest," says Bossuet, " that man is the delight of 
man." " There is no real key to the heart but love. Love 
is the law of the heart. It is this which moves its most 
secret inclinations and energies," and this love is possible 
in the spiritual order, only because God is ]\Ian ; and as ]\Ian, 
He is an object to which love may attach itself, and as 
God, He is the ideal which may exalt and fill up the highest 
imaginings of love. If man seeks the object of love within 
himself he deifies himself, or trusting to reason forms a nega- 
tive God which he cannot love. But under the Gospel, he 
can look out, and everything is transformed into a medium 
of love. The universe is to him a book written within and 
without, to reveal to him the invisible perfections of 
God. 

In Jesus Christ, he sees God entering into and pervading 
humanity. Thus, by love, the two poles of his life are 
united ; one placing him en ra'p'poTt with the world of 
infinity ; the other, with the world of finalities. He sees 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 321 

in the material universe the expression, of which God is 
the sense ; in humanity the body, of which God is the soul. 

The law of Christ is the complete manifestation of the 
law of universal love everywhere destroying contradictions 
and producing unity. Love sees all in One, and One in all. 
It sees God in all His creatures, humanity in God, the spirit 
in the letter, the essence in the accidents, force in matter, 
justice in charity, reason in faith, each in all. It unites all, 
but confounds none. It distinguishes, but does not separate. 
Nay, it distinguishes that it may unite. 

By uniting all men with one another and with God, love 
produces in man the unity of his own being, and thereby, 
serenity, order, life, joy. and happiness. Man thus replaced 
in the plenitude of his unity, reproduces it in all the acts of 
his life. Loving God, he heai\s, sees, feels, tastes Him every- 
where ; he loves all men, because they are the creatures of 
God, he loves all creation, because it is the language of God. 

As peace consists in the reduction to unity of all dis- 
cordant elements, not the obliteration of any, of Christ may 
be said what was spoken of one who carried out His spirit, 
S. Benedict, — 

" Ipse fundator placidffi quietis." 

The faculties which broken refuse to transmit liuht, are 
welded together into translucent crystal, and rest serene. 

I have spoken at some length of the love of God winch 
manifests itself in the heart of man, and which is but the 
repercussion of the love of God to man, because it is the 
foundation of sacrifice. As soon as, by faith, man realizes 
the love of God to him, exhibited in creation and in the 
Incarnation and Atonement, he desires to return that love, 
and exhibit his gratitude by sacrifice. But he knows well 



3'!2 CHRISTIANITY 



that nothing he can " render to his God for all His gifts" are 
to be measured beside what God has done for him, and he 
hesitates. The passion in his sonl is driving him on, " Imt 
whither shall he go ?" 

The Protestant spirit steps in like a spectre, and lays its 
icy finger on his bounding heart, and paralyzes him ; " You 
can do nothing but lie still and freeze." 

But the Catholic spirit, like an angel of light, with the 
odours of paradise fanned from its wings, lifts the fevered 
soul and says, " Up, flee to the altar, there is your sacri- 
fice ! " And the soul sees the solution to its perplexity. 
What offering can it render to its God worthy of that great 
sacrifice He gave to man, but that sacrifice itself? That 
is the return man makes to God; he offers to Him the 
sacrifice of Christ ; the best thing he knows, the only thing 
at all adequate to the occasion. He says to God, You 
have given me all, I give You back, in the fulness of my 
gratitude, all that I value highest, and that is Christ 
incarnate, dying on the cross for me. 

This is the signification of the sacrifice of the altar, the 
Mass. It is the recoil wave of the Divine love. 

And this will explain a point in Catholic teaching 
obscure to some. I will give the explanation in the words 
of a gifted lady. " All the masses that have been celebrated 
since our Lord's time till now, and all those that will be 
celebrated till the Last Day, are only one mass. The mul- 
titude of priests is but one priest. The victim is one, the 
sacrifice is one; for Christ being both priest and victim, 
and He being eternal and infinite, the sacrifice, priest and 
victim can be but one and lasting. Tomasa Eossi, the 
great theologian and philosopher, makes a beautiful com- 
parison on this subject, explaining remarkably well the 
unity and multiplicity of the holy sacrifice of the mass. 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 323 

He says that one articulate sound, expressing an idea by 
means of the human voice, is one and simple when it 
leaves the mouth of the speaker, but becomes multij)lied 
indefinitely in the air by the sounds which, with perfect 
likeness of form and substance, strike the surrounding 
multitude. This is the result of a natural cause, by which 
unity is multiplied without division. Let us apply this 
thought to the Word incarnate, and the sacrifice of the 
cross He once offered for us ; that sacrifice which, without 
ceasing to be one, is multiplied by the numberless sacrifices 
offered upon the altar, which all of them, everywhere and 
for ever, communicate to each one of the faithful the effects 
and merits of the first and only sacrifice of Christ. When, 
therefore, we assist at mass, we do not assist at a rejDresen- 
tation of the sacrifice of Calvary, but at that sacrifice itself, 
which is enduring."! 

Christ is held by the Church to be the head and repre- 
sentative of the whole human race ; and as such His 
sacrifice has its human aspect, looks up towards God, as 
well as looks down upon men. Thus it Avas not only the 
oblation of God to man, but of man to God. It was the 
meeting of the father and the prodigal son effected in 
Christ. It was the leaping up of crippled human nature in 
a rapture of thanksgiving, as well as a leaning over its sick- 
bed by God to touch and heal it. 

As the head of the human family Christ offered on the 
cross to God the sacrifice which alone could reconcile man 
and God, that sacrifice being the rejection of all that was 
opposed to the will of God and the welfare of mankind. 
And the will of God is our sanctification, that is the paci- 
fication of all that destroys the tranquillity and perfecta- 
bility of our nature. Sacrifice is the self-devotion of the 

^ Adelaide Capece Minutolo, by Mrs. A. Craven, 1869, p. 49. 



324 CHRISTIANITY 



whole being, the rightful homage clue from the creature to 
the Creator ; the true worship of God must always consist 
in sacrifice, not necessarily painful ; painful when there is 
any contrariance to the will of God, hut when there is 
complete union between man and God, there will be no 
immixture of suffering. 

Take an illustration. Social life consists in sacrifice, 
that is in giving and taking. When thei'e is political and 
social inequality, through injustice of law, there is pain in 
the relations between the members of the community, but 
when the interest of one is the interest of all, and vice, 
versa, there will be no suffering in the acts of giving and 
taking. 

The idea of sacrifice, originally one of sweet interchange 
between God and man, was modified by the introduction 
of sin into the world, and it acquired a new character of 
reparation, accompanied by suffering, the grating of love 
against the rough edges of a disorganized moral nature. 

To restore the union between God and man, the link of 
sacrifice must be repaired, and this man was unable to 
effect himself One alone could offer a full and perfect 
satisfaction and oblation. In the life and death of Christ, 
the idea received not merely its highest, but its sole 
adequate fulfilment. As the representative man, Christ 
was able to restore worship and sacrifice to their original 
purity. He did so by blunting the adventitious elements ; 
and now the sacrifice, the only perfect sacrifice, is painless. 

Worship by sacrifice was not destroyed by Christ, it was 
restored to its primitive integrity, to be once more the 
mode of communication to Crod of the love felt for Him 
by man. When a cause of estrangement has separated 
two friends so that their mutual offices of good will have 
ceased, or rather those performed by one have ceased to be 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 325 

reciprocated by the other, the removal of the cause of 
estrangement naturally restores the circle of loving offices ; 
the reciprocation begins again. 

As sacrifice was the exchange of love between God and 
unfallen man, and as, when man had fallen, man ceased to 
return to God that worship which was God's due, the 
restoration of man naturally restores tlie duty of sacrifice. 
The distinctive and supreme worship of Christians must 
still, as of old, be a worship by sacrifice, or it would not, 
strictly speaking, be worship at all. 

But since the one great oblation has been off'ered, to 
which nothing can be added, and which cannot be repeated, 
the Christian sacrifice must be, not commemorative only, 
Init identical with that on the Cross. For no other sacrifice 
is henceforth possible or conceivable. Every Christian 
prayer, indeed, commemorates the sacrifice of Christ, and 
is accepted through it; but the central act of worship 
must be that very sacrifice itself, thougii the manner of 
the oblation may differ. If the oblation is the same, the 
thing offered must be the same also. And therefoi'e the 
real presence of the divine victim is essential to the reality 
of the sacrifice. 

The full significance of the doctrine of the Eucharistic 
sacrifice will no doubt remain an enigma to all who do 
not love, but the theory need not be unintelligible. The 
observer may smile at the interchange of trifling presents 
made by two persons who love one another, but the moment 
he himself loves, the most trivial offerings are consecrated 
by affection. 

" Let men only learn to love rather than to protest, and 
the whole conduct of the Catholic Church in the matter 
of worship will be no longer to them the riddle that it now 
is. It is altogether founded on the love of Jesus Christ 



326 CHRISTIANITY 



But love must interpret the conduct of love ; cold hearts 
cannot discover its secrets." ^ 

To give and to receive is the law of the world, their 
balance is life, the destruction of equipoise is death. Give 
to the hyacinth bulb as much water as it can reproduce 
in sap to swell its leaves and flowers, and it is vigorous. 
Steep it in an excess, and it rots. The water you give is 
your sacrifice to it, and its bloom and fragrance is the 
return offering to you. Overload a child witli benefits, and 
it becomes selfish and hard ; teach it to make return by 
acts of courtesy, love, and attention, and it grows up full 
of moral beauty. 

When a man has been to some expense, or undergone 
great hardships, or has sacrificed his health for the good 
of his native country, or his class, a return is made, he 
is created a baronet or a peer, a monument is erected to 
him, or he is honoured with a banquet and an ovation, 
a street is named after him, or he is presented with the 
freedom of his city. This is so natural, that not to make 
return and offer compensation is considered mean and 
ungenerous. 

It would be strange indeed if this instinct found no 
expression in Christianity. 

Christian worship is this expression. It is compensation 
offered to Him Who, for our sakes, became of no reputation, 
and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made 
in the likeness of man. 

Dr. Newman has eloquently developed this theory in one 
of his sermons. " The Son of God," he says, " came unto 
His own, and His own received Him not. But He came in 
order to make them receive Him, know Him, and worship 
Him. When He came, He had not a place wherein to lay 

1 111 Spirit and in Trutli, 11. 278. 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 327 

His head ; but He came to make Himself a place, to make 
Himself a home, to make Himself houses, to fashion for 
Himself a glorious dwelling out of this whole world, which 
the powers of evil had taken captive. He came in the 
dark, in a cave under ground ; in a cave where cattle were 
stabled, there was He housed ; in a rude manger was He 
laid. There first He laid His head; but He meant not 
there to remain for ever. He came into that cave to leave 
it : — pass a few generations, and the whole face of things 
is changed ; the earth is covered with His temples. Go 
where you will, you find the eternal mountains hewn and 
fashioned into shrines where He may dwell, who was an 
outcast in the days of His flesh. Eivers and mines pay 
tribute of their richest jewels ; the skill of man is put to 
task to use what nature furnishes. Go through the 
countries where His name is known, and you will find all 
that is rarest and most wonderful in nature and art has 
been consecrated to Him. Kings' palaces are poor, whether 
in architecture or in decoration, compared with the shrines 
which they have reared to Him." 

But the Protestant objection to this theory of worship is, 
that as Christ was on earth in simplicity and poverty, He 
is best pleased that simplicity and meanness should charac- 
terize His service now. Let the houses of squire and par- 
son be snug and luxurious, and even the cottage of the 
peasant be clean, but let the Church of God be bald, bare, 
and dusty. 

If a mother had denied herself food, worn her patched 
threadbare gown in the frost, and thin shoes in the wet, 
that her son might be provided with a good education 
and be well apprenticed, would it be feeling and right in 
him, when rich, to repay her with a crust of bread, and 
condemn her to tatters. Even if she did not want what he 



328 CHRISTIANITY 



could give her, lie would overwhelm her Avith marks of his 
love and gratitude. 

No doubt God needs not the gifts of His people, but no 
doubt the withholding of gifts is a sign of a sordid, ungrate- 
ful spirit. The reasoning of the Church has ever been, — 
" My Lord embraced poverty for me ; then I will pour out 
my riches at His feet : for me He humbled himself, then 
I will exalt Him ; for my sake He has exposed Himself 
to men's neglect, then wall I redouble my homage and 
adoration." 

To offer compensation to her Lord is the delight of the 
Church. She does not lament over Ijroken alabaster boxes 
and costly spikenard poured out upon Him, as so much 
" waste," but she opens her gifts to present Him with gold 
and frankincense and myrrh. To commemorate Christ's 
self-sacrifice, she has called out all the powers of man. 
For this her doctors have written, her poets have sung, her 
architects and artists have laboured, and her musicians 
have composed. All her efforts have ever been to keep 
alive in the minds and hearts of her children an affection- 
ate remembrance of what their Eedeemer taught, did, and 
suffered for their sakes. 

" Her eyes are homes of silent prayer, 

Nor other thought her mind admits, 
But he was dead, and there he sits, 
And He that brought him back is there. 

Then one deep love doth supersede 
All other, when her ardent gaze 
Koves from the living brother's face, 

And rests upon the Life indeed. 

All subtle thought, all curious fears, 

Borne down by gladness so complete, 
She bows, she bathes the Saviour's feet 

\Yith costly spikenard and with tears."' 
Tennyson : In Memoriam. 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 329 

I cannot refrain from quoting some beautiful words of 
the late Arthur Henry Hallam which bear upon this subject. 
He is discussing the poems of Dante and of Petrarch, and 
shewing how by Christianity love has been enthroned in a 
way that to the old pagan world would not only have been 
impossible but injurious. " Plato, it is well known," he 
says, "inculcated the expediency of personal attachment as 
an incentive to virtue. He seems to have seen clearly 
enough the impossibility of governing man otherwise than 
through his affections ; and the necessity of embodying our 
conceptions of beauty and goodness in some object worthy 
of love. But Plato had little influence on social manners. 
Many admired his eloquence, and many puzzled themselves 
with his metaphysics ; but the peculiarities of his ethical 
system were not appreciated by the two great nations of 
antiquity. His kingdom was not of that world. It began 
only when tlie stone was rolled away from the Sepulchre, 
and the veil of the TenqDle was rent in twain. Platonism 
became the natural ally of Christianity. Mr. Coleridge has 
said, ' he is a plank from the wreck of Paradise cast on the 
shores of idolatrous Greece.' " Then, after remarking on 
the sentiment of erotic devotion which pervades Hebrew 
literature as compared with that of every other ancient 
people, he continues, " But what is true of Judaism is yet 
more true of Christianity, ' matre pulchra filia pulchrior.' In 
addition to all the characters of Hebrew Monotheism, there 
exists in the doctrine of the Cross a peculiar and inex- 
haustible treasure of the affectionate feelings. The idea of 
the Oeai/^pwTTos, the God whose goings forth have been from 
everlasting, yet visible to men for their redemption as an 
earthly, temporal creature, living, acting, and suffering 
among themselves, then (which is yet more important) 
transferring to the unseen place of His spiritual agency the 



330 CHRISTIANITY 



same liiimanity He wore on earth, so that the lapse of gene- 
rations can in no way affect the conception of His identity ; 
this is the most powerful thought that ever addressed itself 
to a human imagination. It is the t^ov o-tm which alone 
was wanted to move the world. Here was solved at once 
the great problem which so long had distressed the teachers 
of mankind, how to make virtue the object of passion, and 
to secure at once the warmest enthusiasm in the heart with 
the clearest perception of right and -svrong in the under- 
standing. The character of the blessed Founder of our Faith 
became an abstract of morality to determine the judgment, 
while at the same time it remained personal and liable to 
love. The written word and established Church prevented 
a degeneration into ungoverned mysticism, but the pre- 
dominant principle of vital religion always remained that 
of self-sacrifice to the Saviour. Xot only the higher 
divisions of moral duties, but the simple primary impulses 
of benevolence were subordinated to this new absorbing 
passion. The world was loved ' in Christ alone.' The 
brethren were members of His mystical body. All the 
other bonds that had fastened down the spirit of the uni- 
verse to our narrow round of earth, were as nothing in 
comparison to this golden chain of suffering and self-sacrifice 
which at once riveted the heart of man to One who, like 
himself, was acquainted with grief Pain is the deepest 
thing we have in our nature, and union through pain 
has always seemed more real and more holy than any 
other. It is easy to see how these ideas reign in the early 
Christian books, and how they continued to develop and 
strengthen themselves in the rising institutions of the 
Church. The Monastic spirit was the principal emanation 
from them ; but the same influence, though less apparent, 
was busily circulating through the organization of social 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 331 



life. Who can read tlie eloquent compositions of Augus- 
tine, without being struck by their complexion of ardent 
passion, tempered indeed, and su^Dported by the utmost 
keenness of intellect." ^ 

This passionate love necessarily exhibits itself in wor- 
ship. As the son sets his mother's photograph in a hand- 
some frame, and the daughter encrusts the locket contain- 
ing her hair with gold and gems, so does the Christian 
adorn and beautify everything that is to him a memorial 
of his Lord. He builds Him the most beautiful shrine, he 
decorates it with gold and marble and cedar, he fills its 
windows with coloured panes and covers the walls with 
paintings. He makes the service speak to him of Christ, 
and he glorifies it with organ note and the strain of choris- 
ter. Every gesture of the priest preserves some memorial 
of his Lord ; the altar is hung with velvet and gold because 
on it his Emmanuel rests, the chalice blazes with jewels 
because in it is the blood shed for him. The Host is 
elevated amidst swing of censers and a glow of tapers, 
because It is the bread broken for him. Flowers beautify 
the sanctuary, for his Lord dwells there ; bells peal out in 
glad announcement that the Christ is coming. All men 
kneel because He is there. 

This is the secret of ritual and the splendour of Catholic 
worship. Let those who meddlejwithtlie practices of public . 
worship to curtail ceremonies, and one by one to extinguish 
its glories, know that they are offering thereby an insult to 
the Lord in Whom they say they believe. The prelate who 
will lavish thousands on the adornment of his palace, or on 
heavy insurance of his life for the benefit of wife and 
children, will persecute, and drive from his church, the j)oor 
curate who, loving his Lord better than himself, out of his 

1 Hallam's Remains, pp. 274-283. 



332 CHRISTIANITY 



slender income sacrifices a tliird to tlie adornment of the 
altar. 

A savage mob will sack a cliurcli whei^e the ceremonial 
is reverently symbolical of the burning heart consumed 
with love to Christ, but it will leave unmolested the 
slovenly priest and the despised altar. 

Why ? Because neither prelate nor people know the 
love of Christ that passes knowledge, and in narrow bigotry 
they will not tolerate what they do not know and under- 
stand. The Saracen conqueror burned the greatest library 
in the world, stored with the wisdom of ages, "because," 
said he, " I do not understand letters, and therefore they 
must be bad and worthless" — a true Protestant sentiment ! 

But even the stranger who has eyes to see and ears to 
hear, cannot altogether miss the spirit of true Christian 
worship : — the celebrated Lavater, a Zwinglian pastor, was 
not too blinded by Protestant prejudice to catch the signi- 
ficance of Catholic ritual ; and with his impressions of a 
Catholic Church I close this chapter. 

"He doth not know Thee, Jesus Christ, who dis- 
honoureth even Thy shadow. I honour all things where I 
find the intention of honouring Thee. I will love them 
because of Thee. What do I behold here ? What do I 
liear in this place ? Does nothing under these majestic 
vaults speak to me of Thee ? This cross, this golden 
imacte, is it not made in Thine honour ? The censer which 
waves around tlie priest, the Gloria sung in chorus, the 
peaceful light of the perpetual lamp, these burning tapers, 
all is done for Thee. Why is the Host elevated, if it be 
not to honour Thee, Jesus Christ, Who art dead for love 
of us ? Because It is no more, and Thou art It, the believ- 
ing Church bends the knee. It is in Thy honour alone 
that these children, early instructed, make the sign of the 



THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE 333 

cross, that tlieir tongues sing Thy praise, and that they 
smite their breasts thrice with their little hands. It is for 
love of Thee, Jesus Christ, tliat the spot that bears Thy 
adorable blood is kissed. For Thee the child who serves 
sounds the little bell, and performs his functions. The 
riches collected from distant countries, the magnificence 
of chasubles, all have relation to Thee. Why are the 
walls aiid the high altar of marble clothed with tapestry 
on the feast of Corpus Christi ? For whom do they 
make a road of flowers ? For whom are these banners 
embroidered ? When the Ave Maria sounds, is it not for 
Thee ? Matins, vespers, prime, and nones, are they not 
consecrated to Thee ? These bells within a thousand 
towers, purchased with the gold of whole cities, do they 
not bear Thy image cast in the very mould ? Is it not 
for Thee that tiiey send forth their solemn tone ? It is 
under Thy protection, Jesus Christ, that every man 
places himself who loves solitude, chastity, and poverty. 
Without Thee, the orders of S. Benedict and S. Bernard 
would not have been founded. The cloister, the tonsure, 
the breviary, and the chaplet bear witness to Thee. 
delightful rapture, Jesus Christ, for Thy disciple to trace 
the marks of Thy finger where the eyes of the world see 
them not ! joy ineffable for souls devoted to Thee, to 
behold in caves and on rocks, in every crucifix placed upon 
hills and by the highways. Thy seal and tliat of Thy love ! 
Who will not rejoice in the honours of which Thou art the 
object and the soul ? Who will not shed tears in hearing 
the words, 'Jesus Christ be praised?' the hypocrite 
who knoweth that name, and answereth not with joy, 
'Amen!' who salt h not, with an intense transport, ' Jesus 
be blessed for eternity, for eternity !"'^ 

1 Lavater : Worte des Herzens, fiir Freunde der Liebe u. dus Glaubens, 
8tli ed. 1855. 



334 CHRISTIANITY 



CHAPTER XIX 

THE DOGMA OF IMMOETALITY 

" A man 7nay believe in tJte itnmortality of the soul for twenty years, but only in the 
twenty-first , at some great jnotiient, is he astonished at the rich substance of this belief, 
at t lie warmth of this naphtha-spri7ig." — Jean-Paul Richter. 

The basis of Christian hope — Proofs of Immortality inadequate to give 
certainty — Future life of fame unsatisfactory — Future life desired by 
the suffering — It is a necessity of the soirl — Because the soul cannot 
satisfy all its desires here — Because the capability of enjoyment is 
limited here — Contrast between what we have and what we hope for — 
The Christian heaven corresponds with the desire felt for it on earth — 
The blunting of the finer faculties incapacitates man for enjoyment — 
destroys his aspirations — and therefore limits his Heaven — The idea of 
Hell not necessarily one of pain but of low enjoyment — The idea of 
Purgatory one of gradual education — The idea of the Resurrection of 
the body necessarily part of the Christian's hope. 

WE have seen what is Cliristian faith and Cliristian 
love ; we come in order to Christian hope. 

As Gibbon has observed, Philosophy, notwithstanding its 
utmost efforts, has been unable to do more to satisfy the hope 
and desire instinctive in man, than feebly indicate the pro- 
bability of a future life, and therefore it belongs to Eevela- 
tion to affirm its existence, and to represent authoritatively 
the condition of the souls of men after their separation from 
the body. 

As I have shewn at some length in my former volume, 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 



the idea of immortality is inextinguishable in man. I said, 
" In order to form an idea of the destruction of the conscious 
self, an amount of exhaustion of impressions is required 
wholly beyond the powers of an uncultivated mind. Man's 
personality is so distinctly projected on the surface of his 
consciousness, that the idea of its obliteration is inconceiv- 
able without doing violence to his primary convictions." 

In a state of health, every man desires to live ; he de- 
sires, because the instinct of self-conservation is one of the 
most primary and ineradicable and the strongest in his 
nature. This desire, at first negative, becomes on reflec- 
tion, under the pressure of life and its cares and sorrows, a 
positive desire. But if he desires immortality, he desires 
to be certified of it, so as not to be left to conjecture 
alone. 

Eeason cannot gratify this hope, and all the proofs of 
immortality that have been collected by philosophers have 
only served to make it probable, not certain. For reason, 
not being able to know future life, cannot demonstrate it. 
Eeason can give general, abstract proofs ; but the certainty 
of the eternal duration of one's personal existence cannot 
be furnished by it, and it is precisely this certainty wdiich 
is demanded. 

To obtain it, a proof, an immediate witness, which may 
fall under the senses, is requisite. One who has died, of 
whose death we are well assured, — not any one, but one 
who is a type and model of all others, — must rise from his 
grave, as a guarantee to all of their resurrection. 

This is what the Eesurrection of Christ supplies. The 
Incarnation was an accommodation of God to all the wants 
of man's nature, and this, the most imperious of all, the 
demand for personal restoration to immortal life, is certified 
to man by the dogma of the Eesurrection. 



336 CHRISTIANITY 



The immortality of the soul is unquestionably one of 
those primordial beliefs proclaimed by universal instinct, 
forced into prominence by causes I have detailed in the 
first volume. 

It has survived all the convulsions of human beliefs, and 
although men have changed their modes of worship and 
ideas of God, their belief in an immortality awaiting them 
has never died out. 

Plato, convinced of this truth, reposes on ancient tradi- 
tion as his authority. "This is certain," says he; "that 
which we call the soul lives. We do not believe that the 
mass of flesh we l)urn is the man, knowing that the son or 
brother whom we bury is really gone to another country, 
after having accomplished his task in this — one must 
believe these things on the faith of legislators or ancient 
traditions." ^ 

Socrates, who died a martyr to his convictions, is repre- 
sented to us, the fatal cup in his hand, discussing the ques- 
tion of questions on the threshold of death. After having 
retraced his philosophic conceptions on this grand subject, 
he said to his interlocutor : " Doubtless you regard these 
stories as the dreams of a delirious crone, but you are 
mistaken. I w ould myself despise them, if in our researches 
we had found anything more salutary and more certain." 
Such was the foundation of his faith : it was but a ^is oiler. 
He had the wisdom to see that reason could not establish 
the certainty of this most important doctrine ; and he said 
touchingly : " One must pass the stormy sea of life on the 
frac^ments of truth that remain to us, as on a little boat, 
unless we be given some surer way, such as a divine pro- 
mise, a revelation, which would be to us a vessel in Avhich 
we might brave the tempests."^ 

1 Plato : De Leg. xii. ^ Pliaedo. 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 337 

Cicero believed in tlie immortality of the soul. In liis 
treatise on Old Age, he says : " Nature has not set us in 
this world to inhabit it for ever, but to lodge in it in pass- 
ing. Oh the bright day in which I shall leave for that 
celestial assembly, for that divine council of souls !" But 
turn the page, and read, " If I am deceived in believing in 
the immortality of the soul, I am deceived with plea- 
sure. ... If I die altogether, as think some minute 
philosophers, I shall feel nothing. . . . Even if 
we are not immortal, it is nevertheless desirable to end 
our days," &c. And in his Epistles, he says, " Whilst 
I live, nothing shall distress me, so long as I am free 
from blame; and if I cease to be, I shall lose all con- 
sciousness."-^ 

A makeshift to satisfy this desire for immortality is life 
in the memory of posterity, in the mouth of fame. It is 
this which Cicero expatiates on in his oration upon Archias, 
and which M. Comte holds out to his followers as the future 
for which they are to strive. But this is poor comfort to 
the dying man. When Bossuet was in his agony, a friend 
bade him rejoice, for his fame would be eternal. " Fame !" 
echoed the dying eagle, " what is that to me now ? Pray 
for my soul." 

The reasoning of Jack Falstaff is true to nature ; fame 

will never satisfy the want man feels. " Honour pricks me 

on, yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on ? 

How then ? can honour set to a leg ? No. Or an arm ? 

No. — What is honour ? He that died 0' Wednesday, dotli 

he feel it ? No. Doth he hear it ? No. Is it insensible 

then ? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the 

living ? No. Why ? Detraction Avill not suffer it : — 

therefore I'll none of it."^ 

1 Epist. vi. 3. 2 X Part of Henry IV. Act. v. Sc. i. 

Y 



338 CHRISTIANITY 



And Heine jet more coarsely expresses tlie same senti- 
ment : — 

" Graves they say are warin'd by glory, 
Foolish words and empty story ! 
Better far the warmth we prove 
From the cow-girl deep in love, 
With her arms around us flung, 
Eeeking with the smell of dung. 
And that warmth is better, too. 
That man's entrails pierces through, 
When he drinks hot punch and wine. 
Or his fill of grog divine, 
In the vilest, meanest den, 
'Mongst the thieves and scum of men."l 

At best tlie Elysium of the ancients was a paradise for 
the great men of earth. " If there be any place for the 
manes of the virtuous ; if, as it pleases sages, great souls 
are not extinguished with the body, then rest in peace !"^ 
Such is the address of Tacitus to the spirit of Agricola. The 
Norseman opened Valhalla only to the warrior who died 
in battle ; the Indian chief who is the death of many foes 
alone triumphs in the happy hunting-fields, — but to the 
simple, the feeble, and the poor heathenism offered no 
hope ; nor can modern infidelity afford consolation. 

A French materialist relates the following incident. He 
visited an almshouse for old women, in which was an aged 
relation whom he had not seen for many years. He found 
her bowed down with pain and the weight of age, and 
nearly stone deaf. As he walked with her in the little 
court, he perplexed his mind with the question how he 
should console her. He could not promise her youth and 
health, or a prospect of I'ecovered hearing ; and the old 
woman's tears flowed, as the sight of her relative recalled 

^ Latest Poems, 13, Epilogue. ^ Tacit. Agricol. xlvi. 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 339 

to her memory years of activity and happiness for ever 
passed away. At that moment tlie chaplain traversed the 
quadrangle, and, seeing the troubled expression in her face, 
he caught her eye and pointed upwards. Instantly the 
clouds broke and fled, and a smile shone out on the withered 
countenance and dispersed her tears. She was comforted. 
The sign of the priest had told her that there was a hope 
to cheer her such as the materialist could not promise. 
" That man was young, his face beamed with goodness, and 
why shall 1 dissimulate my feelings ? His action touched 
me. He wished to console a suffering spirit ; and he suc- 
ceeded ; and he could not have failed to be understood, for 
the old nurse had ever been a zealous Christian. After- 
wards, the remembrance of this little scene has often 
returned to my mind, and I have asked myself repeatedly 
how one might replace so efficacious a means of consolation, 
so simple in itself, in a society in which the light of faith 
shall be completely extinguished. . . . Let us admit that 
religion offers for the consolation of the afflicted means 
which will not be admissible when faith is no more ; for 
instance, the finger will no more be raised to heaven, to 
make people believe in eternal felicity ; but these means 
are attributable to egoistical sentiments, and if they are 
otherwise attributable, they may easily be replaced."^ 

Descartes, wishing to reconstruct the edifice of philoso- 
phy, and seeking for a new point of departure for thought, 
found what he sought in the fact that thought is seized 
and clearly perceived by tlie interior sense; and he laid 
down the general law, which is the basis of method, that all 
those things which we conceive clearly and distinctly must 
be regarded as true. 

1 Siferebois: La Morale, essai d'autliropodicee. Paris, 1867, pp. 116-7. 



340 CHRISTIANITY 



The dogmas of religion, as has been already shewn, 
belong to the sentiment. Christ, according to the hypo- 
thesis with which His religion starts, has erected the heart 
into the criterium of religious truth, has made objective 
all that was subjective. But the heart is not to act with- 
out the reason to regulate its action. The heart is the 
spring, and reason is the balance-wheel. 

If then we are justified by the Christian hypothesis of the 
Incarnation, in applying the Cartesian maxim to the heart, 
we may conclude that what things we conceive clearly and 
distinctly as necessary to satisfy the desires of our hearts, 
do truly exist. 

From which it follows : — 

1st. That we must regard as true all those dogmas which 
it is most necessary for us to admit ; and these are verities 
which have no other limits than the needs of our souls, 
and the requisitions which we feel imperative for the obtam- 
ment of perfect happiness. 

2d. That we must demand the utmost we can conceive, 
that is, whatever is most perfect. 

If we open our souls and study their wants, we find that 
the first and most clearly expressed is this : — We desire 
the prolongation of our existence after the close of this 
mortal life. 

This present life does not satisfy us, because it is not our 
ideal. Our desires transcend the power of satisfaction. 
We find delight in a thousand things, but are incapacitated 
by circumstances from pursuing them. Our spirits are 
partial, discursive, and exclusive, and to obtain and assimi- 
late one thing necessitates the abandonment of others. We 
feel that there are an infinite number of channels of pleasure 
open to us, but we are obliged to make a selection of one or 
two among them. We want all, but can embrace only a part. 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 341 

I will take my own case, and it is the counterpart of 
others. I have a passion for natural history ; but I cannot 
follow that branch of science without deserting philosophy 
and theology, which interest me equally. I once studied 
ornithology, but I have been obliged to abandon that study, 
because of my imperfection of sight. But I know that the 
ways of the birds are wonderful, and full of beauty, and I 
cannot bear to think that when the grave closes upon me 
it shuts me off from all acquaintance with the marvels of 
the feathered tribes of the air. Perhaps I love the fine 
arts more than literature ; Ijut though dreams of beauty 
pass before my mind, I cannot fix them on the canvas, 
because of the inaptitude of my fingers ; if I take the brush, 
I must lay down the pen. I have a craving for mountain 
scenery, but years elapse without my being able to see the 
sun set the Jungfrau in a glow. 

Here are a multitude of desires, to know and to feel, to 
acquire knowledge, and to express my ideas of the beauti- 
ful, larger than my powers, to develop which life is too 
short. 

I want another life to finish what is begun here. 

" The immortality of the soul," said Pascal, " is of sucli 
paramount importance to us, and touches ns so profoundly, 
that one must have lost all feeling to be indifferent as to 
whether it is or is not." Since philosophy has existed, 
demonstration after demonstration has been made to prove 
what every wise man has felt must be, to make life 
endurable, that the terrestrial life is only an episode, and 
that after the tragedy of death, we then alone pass into the 
plenitude of our existence. 

The Pantheist teaches that life continues, for it is 
indestructible, but that indi\dduality disappears. But 
what is an eternity of life to me if I lose my personality, 



342 CHRISTIANITY 



and live on as a portion of the universe only, as so mucli 
thistle for the ass to eat, or so much phosphorus on the 
ends of matches ? It is myself which is dear to me, which 
as a tliinking, loving personality, must exist in eternity to 
think all thoughts, and to love all things, infinitely. 

" Let him take confidence," says Plato, " who during life 
has rejected pleasures and the advantage of tlie body, as 
strange to him and conducive to evil ; who has adorned 
his soul, not with a foreign garb, hut with that which 
becomes it, temperance, justice, strength, liberty, and truth ; 
he may await in tranqiullity the hour of his departure from 
this world, as being ready for the voyage, when called by 
destiny." 

AVhen a plant has flowered, it withers on its stalk ; when 
an animal dies it returns to the dust ; we do not conceive 
of any other destiny for plant and animal, for they have 
each reached the highest perfection of which their organs 
are capable. But it is not so with us. When we have 
lived, neither are our as2:)irations satisfied, nor our notions 
of justice realized, and alone among the creatures which 
surround us, dragging after us the long chain of dis- 
appointed hopes, we cry out for the infinite perspective 
of immortality beyond the narrow horizon of to-day. " We 
luive a divine hunger," says matchless Jean-Paul ; " and 
this earth offers us only the food of cattle. The eternal 
hunger of man, the insatiability of his desires, ask another 
sort of nutriment. How can a great soul be happy here ? 
Those who have been among mountains and are con- 
demned to live in plains die of an incurable nostalgia. 
It is because we have issued from above, that we sigh 
for it, and that all music is to us a reminiscence of 
our home, a ranz-des-vaches to the exiled Swiss. An 
infinite love supposes an infinite object. If all the 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 343 

forests were pleasure parks, and all the isles were For- 
tunate Isles, and all the fields were Elysian, and all eyes 

were full of joy, oh ! then But no : then the Infinite 

Being must have assured us that such felicity would be 
perpetual. But now that so many hovises are houses of 
mourning, so many fields are fields of battle, so many faces 
are pale, so many eyes are dulled with tears and closed ; 
when things are thus, how can the tomb be the end 
ofaU?" 

There are times when the mind and heart are weary of 
everything life has given, and like Solomon who tried learn- 
ing and folly, who builded houses, and planted vineyards, 
and made gardens and orchards, and pools of water, who got 
servants and maidens, and great possessions of great and 
small cattle, and gathered gold and silver, and tried men 
singers and women singers, the heart is forced to exclaim 
with him, " Whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from 
them ; I withheld not my heart from any joy, and then I 
looked on all the works my hands had wrought, and on the 
labours that I had laboured to do : and behold all was vanity 
and vexation of spirit. Wherefore I hated life ; because 
the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto 
me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit."^ And this 
disgust arises, not because the things enjoyed are in them- 
selves bad, but simply and solely because the imagination 
transcends them, and its ideal is not as yet attained, and 
for that reason only it falls sick with disappointed hope. 
It accepts what is ; it distinguishes what is good in it from 
what is base. It takes the good as an earnest of the very 
good ; but it insists on every comparative necessitating 
a superlative ; and it is for that superlative in the future 
that it pines. 

1 Eccles. ii. 1-17. 



344 CHRISTIANITY 



The leaf of life on which man has been crawling about 
and feeding like a caterpillar, falls behind him a skeleton 
leaf. The desire for something higher becomes a pain — 
that heavenly home-sickness of which the writings of the 
great Catholic saints are redolent, but which every heart 
probably feels with more or less intensity. 

" Through, night ami darkness from between the clonds 
Looks down the moon, and countless sparkles gleam 
On us ; as when upon a stormy night. 
With lengthy journey wearied, from afar 
We see the twinkling windows of our home, 
But neither roof nor tower, and onward pi'ess. 
For rest is nigh. 

How strangely on my heart 
This night a sadness weighs, an aching void. 
1 want to cry, but wherefore ? I would go, 
But whither ? Home-sick, but where is Home ?"i 

It is a common-place to say that fruition never satisfies. 
There is always something wanting to make happiness per- 
fect. Duration, but not duration only, perfection also. By 
a wonderful faculty man's ideas always transcend what is 
attainable, and thence that weariness of spirit which falls 
upon him, when he has roved from pleasure to pleasure, 
and has not found what he has seen in vision. 

And then, again, there is in us a want of capacity for en- 
joying what is beautiful as fully as wc desire. Why is it 
that, as Goethe says, a work of high art always pains us at 
first sight? It is because we feel ourselves so unable to 
grasp it, it is like a full blaze on an eye accustomed to the 
dark, there is a sensation of distress produced till the mind 
has been modulated upwards into harmony with the object. 
We feel this with great intensity when exquisite music, or 
very beautiful poetry is wafted in on our sensitive mind- 
' Hebel : Allemannische Gedichte. Leipz. 1853, p. 186. 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 345 

plate. The eye fills with tears. Why does that which is 
very lovely sadden the heart, sadden it with a pleasing- 
pain ? Why, but because it awakens a desire for something- 
bey ond the flat horizon of the everyday life we are doomed 
to live. I well remember, as a boy, being overcome by a 
sudden glimpse up the Val d'Azun in the Pyrenees. A 
soft haze which had obscured the mountains rose and 
dissolved into floss silver in the sky, and through it the 
sun poured a subdued glory over the snows of the Pic de 
Gabizos. The scene was more beautiful than I could bear, 
and I burst into sobs. I have felt the same pain in coming 
suddenly on a grey rock clustered over with wild pinks 
above the Lake of Thun. Beauty, like light, is sometimes 
too overpowering- to be borne. 

I find the same sensation described by Mr. Gosse, the 
naturalist, whose feeling for natural beauties breathes out 
of every page he writes. He says, " Perhaps many have 
felt — I have often — that there are occasions in which the 
sense of the beautiful in nature becomes almost painfully 
overpowering. I have gazed on some very lovely prospects, 
bathed perhaps in the last rays of the evening sun, till my 
soul seemed to struggle with a very peculiar undefinable 
sensation, as if longing for a power to enjoy, which 1 was 
conscious I did not possess, and which found relief only in 
tears. I have felt conscious that there were elements of 
enjoyment and admiration there which went far beyond 
my capacity of enjoying and admiring, and I have delighted 
to believe that, by and by, when in the millennial kingdom 
of Jesus, and still more in the remote future, in the dis- 
pensation of the fulness of times, the earth — the new earth 
— shall be endowed with a more than paradisaical glory, 
there will be given to redeemed man a greatly increased 



346 CHRISTIANITY 



power and capacity for drinking in and enjoying the 
augmented loveliness." ^ 

It is the same with music. An elegant writer thus ex- 
presses the same sensation. " A stirring poem will occa- 
sionally move one even to tears, but I have known men to 
lose consciousness whilst listening to a simple melody. 
Its effect upon the mind and senses is indescribable. I 
refer now to persons who hold the rare gift of appreciating 
the genius of music, not to those wdio merely fancy they 
possess it. ... I often wonder what the effect will he upon 
those who are unable to comprehend its soul-stirring 
element when they first hear the strains in the next world? 
wlien the spiritual shall be all in all, and they shall see 
and understand no longer as through a glass darkly. If it 
is given to us there to remember the thoughts and emotions 
of mortality, they m^ ill wonder how it came to pass that in 
the years of their earthly life they were so dead to the 
deepest power the world contained. As everything in 
heaven Avill exceed earth as the glory of the Almighty ex- 
ceeds that of man, so is it impossible to conceive the effect 
that shaU be wrought on us when, for the first time, we 
hear those strains of celestial melody spoken of by S. 
John in the ISTew Testament. My friend, but that the soul 
has thrown off its bonds, its limits of earthly endurance, 
we should close our ears to the sound, as Moses veiled his 
face before the Children of Israel when lie came down from 
the mountain." '" 

It is the same with that which is very good. A saintly 
life, a beautiful example, touch the soul with a longing 
which causes an ache — an ache because the consciousness 
of inequality arises within, and a desire is born to rise to 

1 Gosse: Romance of Natural History, 2nd Series, 1861, pp. 303, 313. 

2 Buried Alone, p. 61-3. 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALH V 347 

the same level ; there is a travail of the soul, forgotten in 
its joy when fruition is attained, but full of exquisite 
suffering at the time. 

' ' Whene'er a noble deed is wrought, 
Whene'er is spoken a noble thought, 

Our hearts, in glad surprise, 

To higher levels rise. 
The tidal wave of deeper souls 
Into our inmost being rolls. 

And lifts us unawares 

Out of all meaner cares. " ^ 

It is this pain which is felt by the spirits in purgatory ; 
they see the perfection of goodness, and feeling their dis- 
accord with it, they suffer, till the harmony is produced 
which alone can give them rest. A pain full of sweetness, 
but a pain for all that. 

" Take me away, and in the lowest deep 

There let me be. 
And there in hope the lone night-watches keep 

Told out for me. 
There, motionless and happj- in my pain, 

Lone, not forlorn, — 
There will I sing my sad perpetual strain. 

Until the morn. 
There will I sing and soothe my stricken breast. 

Which ne'er can cease 
To throb, and pain, and languish, till possest 

Of its Sole Peace. "2 

And this indeed is Christian contrition, the sense of the 
purity and goodness of Christ, contrasted with the stained 
and blemished nature of man. 

Every sigh of contrition then, as every tear dropped 
before beauty passing assimilation and virtue as yet un- 

^ Longfellow's Santa Filomena. 
^ Newman : Dream of Gerontius. 



348 CHRIS TIA NIT Y 



attained, is a prophecy of a future where sorrow and sighing 
shall flee away. 

I make no apologies to the reader for quoting a poem at 
full length by the Bishop of Derry, which expresses with 
wondrous beauty the idea thrilling all hearts and causing 
humanity to cry, with loud voice and deep accord, for a 
new life to complete what is broken and imperfect here. 

" Down below, the wild Kovember wliistling 
Througli the beech's dome of burning red, 
And the Aiitiimn sprinkling penitential 
Dnst and ashes on the chestnut's head. 

Down below, a pall of airy purple. 

Darkly hanging from the mountain side, 
_ And the sunset from his eyebrow staring 
O'er the long roll of the leaden tide. 

Up above, the tree with leaf unfading, 

By the everlasting river's brink, 
And the sea of glass beyond whose margin 

Never yet the sun was known to sink. 

Down below, the white wings of the sea-bird 
Dashed across the furrows dark with mould. 

Flitting, like the memories of our childhood. 
Through the trees now waxen pale and old. 

Down below, imaginations quivering 

Through our human spirits like the wind, 

Thoughts that toss like leaves upon the woodland, 
Hopes like sea-birds flashed across the mind. 

Up above, the host no man can number. 
In white robes, a palm in every hand. 

Each some work sublime for ever working, 
In the spacious tracts of that great land. 

Up above, the thoughts that know not anguish. 
Tender care, sweet love for us below. 

Noble pity, free from anxious terror. 
Larger love without a touch of woe. 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 349 



Down below, a sad mysterious music, 

Wailing through the woods and on the shore, 

Burdened with a grand majestic secret. 
That keeps sweeping from us evermore. 

Up above, a music that entwineth. 
With eternal threads of golden sound. 

The great poem of this strange existence. 

All whose wondrous meaning hath been found. 

Down below, the Church, to whose poor window 
Glory by the autumnal trees is lent. 

And a knot of worshippers in mourning. 
Missing some one at the Sacrament. 

Up above, the burst of hallelujah, 
And (without the sacramental mist 

Wrapt around us like a sunlit halo) 
One great vision of the face of Christ. 

Down below, cold sunlight on the tombstone. 
And the green wet turf with faded flowers, 

Winter roses, once like young hopes burning, 
Now beneath the ivy dripped with showers : 

And the new-made grave within the churchyard, 
And the white cap on that young face pale, 

And the watcher ever as it dusketh 

Rocking to and fro with that long wail. 

Up above, a crowned and happy spirit, 
Like an infant in the eternal years. 

Who shall grow in love and light for ever, 
Ordered in his place among his peers. 

the sobbing of the winds of autumn, 
the sunset streak of stormy gold, 

the poor heart thinking in the churchyard, 
' Night is coming and the grave is cold.' 

the pale and plashed and sodden roses, 
the desolate heart that grave above, 

the white cap shaking as it darkens 
Round that shrine of memory and love. 



350 CHRISTIANITY 



tlie rest for ever, and the rapture ! 

the hand that wipes the tears away ! 
the goklen homes be3'ond the sunset, 

And the hope that watches o'er the clay I"^ 

Some modern sceptics liave shuddered at the prospect of 
that eternity to which a Christian clings, because they mis- 
understand it. The future life is differently viewed by 
every one, and will, according to the Catholic theory, be 
different to every one. It will be the ideal of every one ; if 
his idea of happiness be low, his future will be of small 
value ; if high, it will be glorious. Each will have his 
capacity of enjoyment satisfied, but the capacity of one 
beins: oreater than that of another, the amount of delight 
to one will lie greater than to another. Just, says an old 
writer, as at the feast in Shushan the palace, " they gave 
them drink in vessels of gold (the vessels being diverse one 
from another), and royal wine in abundance,"" so will it be 
hereafter ; every man will be satisfied, but the measure of 
one will not be the measure of another. This is what some 
have failed to understand. The future life has been con- 
ceived as a dead level of insufferable monotony, so dreary 
that men — 

" Would fain lie down and die, 
But for their curse of immortality. " 

Heine in his bitter, mocking spirit thus writes of it, — 

" I scorn the heavenly plains above me, 
In the blest land of paradise ; 
K^o fairer women there will love me 

Than those whom here on earth I prize. 

No angel blest, his high flight winging, 
Could there replace my darling wife ; 

To sit on clouds, whilst psalms I'm singing, 
"WoTdd small enjoyment give to life." 

^ Lyra Anglicana. ^ Esther i. 7. 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 351 

" Behold," says Jean Eeynaud, " on the steps of this 
strange heaven, the elect seated in order side by side, all 
in the rank assigned to them according to their short pil- 
grimage on earth, absorbed, without distraction, in the 
rigidity of their contemplation, and clothed for ever in their 
terrestrial bodies in which they were seized by death, as 
by the fatal seal of their eternal immutability. What are 
these phantoms engaged in doing? Are they living or 
dead? Ah! Christ, how this paradise scares me; I prefer 
my life with its lights and shadows, its tribulations and 
pains, to that blank immortality with its sanctimonious 
peace !"^ 

But this is false altogether to the hyjaothesis of the 
Incarnation, which requires that the wants of man will find 
their complete satisfaction in Christ. If M. Eeynaud's 
ideal of happiness be perpetual activity, such he will find 
to be his heaven. 

' ' Some work sublime for ever working 

In the spacious tracts of that great land." 

What is pleasure to one man gives disgust to another; 
to a good, sensible, well-conducted man, the condition of 
a drunkard is one of misery. Yet to the drunkard there 
is no ambition to taste the joys of respectability and 
sobriety. A coarse, brutal nature cannot appreciate, or 
care to appreciate, the refined pleasures derived from art 
and literature. A street drab, with no modesty nor clean- 
liness, and with only animal lust and filthy habits, has no 
desire to live the life of a decent matron. The sweets of 
home and all its pure pleasures are beyond her conception ; 
they are above her underground rail of pleasures. To 
a highly refined mind, the coarse and brutal nature is 

1 Reynaud: Terre et Ciel. Taris, 185i. 



352 CHRISTIANITY 



awful in its loathsomeness. To tlie pure and virgin soul, 
full of heavenly aspirations, the life of a street drah 
is hell. 

We all probably have germs of aspirations after what is 
pure and good and beautiful, but by repression some destroy 
these germs, and by cultivation others develop them. 

Every faculty we educate opens to us a new horizon. 
Every faculty we repress narrows our horizon. 

If we suppose that life fixes our characters, and deter- 
mines our aspirations, our future state will correspond 
with our tastes and characters and desires. There is no 
reason to suppose that the coarse nature which could 
make the tour of the Alps to-day and receive no impres- 
sion of beauty, wiU be a bit more sensitive ten thousand 
years hence ; nor that the drab will be more incHned to 
exchange, what Mr. Swinburne calls — 

" The roses and raptures of vice " 

for " the lilies and languors of virtue." Her spirit is not 
diaphanous to heavenly love now, a course of sensuality 
has rendered it more and more opaque, why should it 
become again translucent in eternity, unless she desire 
it? 

Unless she desire it, I repeat, for where there is the will 
to be better, there regeneration is possible, though it may 
be through suffering ; but where there is blank indifference, 
there it is impossible. 

Take a Wiltshire clown and walk him through the 
National Gallery; he will yawn. Tell him that with a 
little attention and effort his mind will open to the beauties 
of art. He will roar in your face, fat bacon fills his soul 
with content, — he desires nothing further. Speak of the 
joys of virtue to a profligate ; you are as one telling idle 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 35 

tales. The idea of a pure life nauseates him ; he has not 
the appetite to try it. 

What is the average Englishman of the lower, middle, 
and peasant class ? He has no taste for wholesome and 
rational amusements, he can only go in for vulgar and 
noisy sports, such as " kiss in the ring," and the like, which 
are rude and coarse to a degree. He must have his heavy 
dinner, he must have his pipe, above all he must have 
his beer. The ordinary English mind is not educated for 
anything noble and refined. The Anglican Church, instead 
of trainino- the nobler faculties, has anathematized them 
and bid them be cast out as unclean. It is altogether dif- 
ferent on the Continent. The Church there has held up the 
chin of these purer tastes in the flood which would have 
engulfed them. A Erench or an Italian peasant seldom for- 
gets that he is one of nature's gentlemen, for, through his 
Church, the sun and air have been let in on his aspirations 
after what is not utterly gross, and thus the animal 1ms 
never been allowed to master the man. But with the 
Enoiishman of the lower classes, thanks to three hundred 
years of Protestantism, it is different. " The great English 
middle class, the kernel of the nation," says Mr. ]\Iatthew 
Arnold, " the class whose intelligent sympathy had upheld 
a Shakespeare," which had covered our land with struc- 
tures of exquisite beauty, which had produced a rich 
floriation of poetry, " entered the prison of Puritanism, 
and has had the key turned on its spirit there for two 
hundred years. He enlargeth a nation, says Job, and 
straiteneth it again." ^ Give tlie average Englishman 
music, it must be of a sort that he and his fellows may 
be alile to roar out some vulgar foolish words as they pro- 
menade the terraces or walks, six or eight abreast, knock- 

^ Mattliew Arnold : Essays in Criticism, p. 170. 
Z 



354 CHRISTIANITY 



ing out of the way and iusiiltiDg every decent person — 
if women or girls so much the better — that they meet. 
Give liim dancing, it must be tinned into an occasion of 
immodesty. Give him pictures, he would rather see some 
painted Jezebel on the tight rope than all the master 
pieces of Eaphael or Titian. Give him statuary, a group 
of tableaux vivants at the Shades is much more grateful 
to his eyes than the fairest of Canova's works. Give him 
a museum, what are works and stones to him ? A Zoolo- 
gical Garden — he will go at feeding time, or to see men 
or women imperilling their lives by fighting w^ith the 
beasts, and if torn in pieces so much the more is gotten 
for the money. Try what you will for the bumpkin and 
the mechanic, nothing will be appreciated, save what is 
vulgar and noisy, and coarse ; nor will they allow the dis- 
tinction between enjoyment and beastly excess. 

Now to what sort of future do these gross natures 
look forward ? If they have no sense of the intellectual, 
the beautiful, and the pure here, what possible satisfaction 
would these aflbrd them hereafter, unless a process of level- 
ling up had first been undergone, and no such process can 
be gone through unless it be voluntarily submitted to ; for 
God's action on man is by persuasion not by compulsion. 
And if the desire for anything better has burned out 
through neglect, there is no reason to conclude that it will 
be rekindled through an eternity. 

"Who can tell what anguish may torture the soul, through 
jealousy and envy of those who are in a different condition? 
The physical pains which have been imagined as the 
punishment of hell, are but a figure adapted to rude minds 
of the exquisite self-inflicted pains of a spirit lost to all 
appreciation of the good and beautiful, that rages with 
hate against those enjoying both, without the j)Ower of 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 355 

S]3oiling their pleasure, and of dragging tliem into the same 
degradation. 

The future life will correspond with the desires felt in 
the terrestrial life; if in this life man widens his sym- 
pathies, the greater will be his satisfaction hereafter ; but 
if he suppresses all his nobler desires, and lives only for the 
flesh, he will find hereafter nothing to satisfy him, when the 
faculty of sensual gratification is removed ; for pleasure is 
only given for a purpose, and the purpose accomplished, 
pleasure will disappear. If he has been indifferent to God 
here, he will not miss Him through eternity. If he has 
destroyed his sense of beauty here, he will be bored with 
the loveliness of Paradise. If intellectual and spiritual 
pursuits fail to create an interest here, he will yawn through 
an eternity of spiritual and intellectual activity. The circle 
of eternity to one will be the cipher zero to another. 

Imagine the Wiltshire rustic looking down from the Jura 
over the blue lake of Neufchatel to the silver bank of 
distant Alps hung in mid air, beyond the level marshes 
of Morat, whilst his feet are deep in anemoues, primulas, 
and gentians. Imagine the London swell at a conversazione 
of the Eoyal Society, where all the most wonderful scien- 
tific discoveries of the year are being exhibited ; both are 
sullen and disgusted. Neither cares to enjoy and know 
what to others afford inexpressible delight. The more those 
around them exhibit their satisfaction, the more Hodge and 
Sharpie weary and gloom. 

But if a desire to enjoy what others enjoy flash across 
the mind of either, aU is changed ; through pain the soul 
struggles upwards, step by step, like a little child acquir- 
ing knowledge, through tears and occasional relapses, may 
be, but at each step some light breaks in on the spirit, 
some fresh beauty or truth rises into sight. 



356 CHRISTIANITY 



Sucli is the idea applied in the Catholic system to the 
future state. To those who die without a care for any- 
thing better, there is an eternity of protracted stagnation, 
embittered by consciousness of loss, by envy and hate. To 
those whose souls, however undeveloped and marred, retain 
some hope and desire of better things, a gradual purgation, 
a struggling of the spirit to appreciate what it knows to be 
good, but which jars against its disordered appetites. To 
those who have put forth all their talents to usury — wave 
on wave of varied and unending beauty flowing from tlie 
inexhaustible fountain of all perfection. We cannot but 
recognize in this life, some who are incorrigible ; men who 
have deliberately strangled every higher and better principle 
within, till their natures are bare of life which may be 
developed ; they have lost all taste and all capacity for 
good, just as those who wilfully neglect to educate their 
minds in youth are incapable of achieving any intellectual 
growth in old age. But, on the other hand, there are many 
whose expansion has been retarded by external circumstances, 
but who have not lost the capacity for good, — the germ to 
grow and blossom. Now, progress is the law of the universe. 
Nothing stands still that has life in it. If progress has been 
checked here, it must be continued in the intermediate 
state, a progress by pain from the imperfect to the perfect. 

As I said just now, where there is the will to rise, 
there is the possibility of rising. This is strictly in corres- 
pondence with the law of God's dealings with man, as laid 
down in the second preliminary hypothesis. 

God has given man free-will. Therefore He uses no 
constraint. His action on man is moral. 

And by the hypothesis of the Incarnation, it is taught 
that when the will to return to God and to harmony is 
present, then the grace to enable the return is given. 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 357 

Consequently, so long as man has the will to enjoy 
what is better, the faculty of enjoying it will l)e given him. 

If, then, after death, the desire be strong to see and 
delight in God, restoration will be wrought out. 

If the desire be extinguished in life ; there is no reason 
to believe that it will be restored ; for such restoration would 
be an infringement of the determination of man's free-will. 

There is one point more on which I must touch ; the resur- 
rection of the body. This follows the law of the Incarnation. 

There have always been manifest two concurrent desires 
in man, the desire that his soul may live eternally, and 
that his body may remain his own. The former was the 
idea prevalent among the philosophers, but the latter 
commended itself to the popular feeling. The idea of the 
intellectual faculty living on was somewhat cold, and the 
feelings of the people desired some less abstract life. If 
their notion of the future state was crude and grotesque, it 
could not fail to be otherwise, when all their pleasure con- 
sisted in sensuality, and their ideas of happiness rarely 
ascended above the routine of everyday life. 

" Errant exsangues sine corpore et ossibus umbrae ; 
rarsque forum celebrant, pars nisi tecta tj'ranui ; 
Pars alios artes, antiquae imitamina vitae."! 

In Paradise, those "regions of joy, delightful green retreats, 
and blessed grove-covered abodes where happiness abounds, 
where the air is more free and enlarged, and clothes the 
fields with radiant light," so beautifully described by Virgil, 
what is the occupation of the blessed ? 

" Pars in gramineis exercent membra palsestris ; 
Contendunt ludo, et fulva luctantur arena ; 
Pars pedibus plaudunt choreas, et carmiua dicunt. "- 

' Ovid : Met. iv. 443. 2 yii-gji . ^neid. vi. 641-3. 



358 CHRISTIANITY 



The custom so universal of buryiug the dead with honour, 
is a witness to the prevalence of the idea that the future 
life is attached to the body as well as the soul. 

As Molike says, — 

" Oui, mon corps, c'est moi-meme, et j'en veux prendre soiii, 
Queiiille, si Ton vent ; ma quenille m'est cliere."l 

And Heine, in his flippant recklessness — 

' ' Poor soul dotli to the body say : 
I'll never leave thee, but I'll stay 
With thee. 

Thou ever wert my second I, 
And round me clungest lovingly, 
As though a dress of satin bright 
All lined throughout with ermine white — 
Alas ! I've come to nakedness, 
A mere abstraction, bodiless 
Reduced to blessed nullity 
In yon bright realms of light to be. 
In the cold halls of heaven irp yonder, 
In leaden slippers wearily. 
'Tis quite intolerable ; stay, 
Stay with me, my dear body, pray ! " ^ 

And if the resurrection of the body be a positive idea 
and earnest wish, it will be fulfilled by Him Who is the 
sum of all our desires, and Who came on earth to fulfil 
them. The idea of the immortality of the soul does not 
exclude the idea of the immortality of the body; both 
ideas are conciliated in Him AVho is " Yea " and not 
" Nay," that is. Who is the category of all that is positive. 
" Jesus Christ, qui in vobis per nos praedicatus est, non 
fuit EST et NON, sed est in illo fuit.'"* 

1 Moliere : Les femmes savantes, a. ii. so. 7. 

2 Heine : Poems, tr. by Bowring, Lond. 1866, p. 505. 

3 2 Cor. i. 19. 



THE DOGMA OF IMMORTALITY 359 



If, then, we may conclude tliat what we desire imperi- 
ously will be placed within our reach by Him Who has 
come to satisfy our desires, it follows : — 

1. That death will not terminate our existence. 

2. That our condition after death will be one of happi- 

ness. 
8. That this happiness will be eternal 

4. That it will be complete. 

5. That it will be exactly commensurate with the desire 

felt by man. 

6. That, consequently, it will be graduated. 



36o CHRISTIANITY 



CHAPTER XX 

DEVELOPMENT 

Development, a suljject ablj' treated by others— must be considered liere — 
Were all the propositions of the Faith simultaneously or successively 
evolved ? — Probably by degrees — If development be denied, two other 
theories must be maintained — Scripture an absolute authority — This 
the Protestant theory — Its impossibility — Or that development was 
suddenly arrested — This the Anglican theory, unsatisfactory — Develop- 
ment apparent in the Bible — and in the history of the Church — De- 
velopment of doctrine — of Christian art — of appreciation of nature — of 
science — of constitutionalism — The limits of development — Conclusion 
— The prospects of Christianity. 

rPHE subject of development is one upon which I would 
-'- liave foreborne touching, as it has been so ably dis- 
cussed by distinguished theologians of late years, and I can 
but go over ground already trodden, but that it fits into 
and completes the system I am expounding, and I could 
not omit the doctrine of development without leaving this 
essay incomplete. 

I can but adopt the arguments of others, and shew 
their application to and cohesion with the dogma of the 
Incarnation.^ 

I have shewn in the preceding chapters that the dogmas 

1 Newman : Essay on Development. Oxenham : The Doctrine of the 
Atonement, Introd. Essa}^ And Blenkinsopp : The Doctrine of Develop- 
ment in the Bible and in the Church. London, 1869. 



DEVELOPMENT 361 



of Christianity Laug upon one another, and foHow one 
another in logical sequence ; that if the dogma of the 
creation be admitted, and a motive be sought for it, that 
motive can be found in love alone ; whence it follows that 
free-will is a dogmatic consequence which cannot be 
evaded. From the dogmas of creation and free-will results 
that of the Incarnation. Accept the Incarnation, and the 
Atonement follows inevitably, and the Eesurrection com- 
pletes the Atonement. Also, from a right apprehension of 
the dogma of the Incarnation flow the Church, the Sacra- 
mental system, the Eeal Presence, and the Eucharistic 
Sacrifice. If any of these consequences be denied, the 
negation runs back, and corrupts the primary dogmas. 

The question arises : Was the whole scheme, in aU its 
logical consecj^uences revealed at once, or was tlie seed, 
enfolding within it the whole system, given at first to grow 
and expand as circumstances demanded ? 

This is a most important question. As Mr. Oxenham 
says: "It can hardly be doubted, that one of the most 
important theological questions of the day, on which many 
of our detailed controversies will be found to hinge, and 
into wiiich they must ultimately be resolved, is that of 
developments in Christian belief. From failing to recog- 
nize this great law of revealed as of scientific truth, 
thousands are prejudiced against dogmatic Christianity 
altos;ether, while others hold it with but feeble and un- 
certain grasp. Nor can we look with any confidence for 
the return to unity of separated religious bodies, while 
some rigidly adhere to the principle of a lifeless and un- 
fruitful tradition, and others insist on an exclusive appeal 
to the bare letter of Scripture. This question will accord- 
ingly be found, if I mistake not, to lie at the root (if half 
our religious disputes, and some understanding upon it is 



362 CHRISTIANITY 



an indispensable preliminary for their appreciation or 
adjustment."^ 

The question may be stated simply thus : Were all the 
propositions of the Catholic faith simultaneously or suc- 
cessively evolved ? 

Now it is evident from what has gone before, that these 
propositions depend on one another, and the mind has 
to undergo a process before it can step from one to another. 

It is therefore more probable that the natural method 
should have been pursued. For, observe, if the dogma of 
the Incarnation be accepted by any man, and if he think it 
out in all its bearings, he must admit all the consequences 
which the Catholic Church has deduced from it ; — lie must 
do so, for they grow out of one another spontaneously. 
Any Christian community which starts from this dogma 
must follow the same course, unless it bo prej)ared to 
tamper with its foundation, to maim tlie doctrine of the 
Incarnation, so as to check or destroy its vital power. If 
the Anglican Church exhibits a tendency, or rather an 
impidsion, towards full Catholic doctrine, the reason is that 
active minds will not allow the dogma of the Incarnation 
to fossilize in an historical deposit, but insist on carrying 
it out and applying it in its entirety. The only mode of 
stopping this action is to formally deny the dogma. 

Among the Lutherans an opposite course has been run. 
Luther vitiated the fundamental dogma, by making Christ 
an imperfect man, i.e. by allowing Him to be the perfect 
Individual, but not the social Ideal. The consequence is, 
that the minds of those educated in Lutheran doctrine have 
denied the Divinity of Christ, and have thus released them- 
selves from the cogency of an argument wliich must have 
made itself felt, had they been prepared to admit its premiss. 

1 Oxenham, p. 1. 



DE VEL OP ME NT 363 



The admission of tlie dogma of the Incarnation is quite 
sufficient to involve all the consequences. I do not say- 
that every man will evolve the wliole system, or that five 
or six generations will do so, as that depends on the mental 
activity of the person or the age. But it is inevitable that 
the community based on that doctrine should rush into 
Catholicism, when the frost of indifference yields, and the 
streams of thought begin to trickle once more. There will 
always be some who cannot go as fast as others, because 
their minds are more sluggish than others ; if they would 
be content with an assertion that they cannot as yet follow 
the rush, it would be well, but if they attempt to stand 
against the avalanche, they will not merely fail to arrest 
it, but will imperil themselves. 

This is an intellectual attitude characteristic of Angli- 
canism. An insularity and a narrow insensibility constitute 
that temper of mind in which not a few of our best prelates 
and divines indulge. He who is infected with it is every 
whit as intolerant as the hip and thigh smiting Puritan. 
He is never satisfied except in denouncing those waves of 
religious belief which flow beyond the post he has driven 
in to limit the rise of the tide, and anathematizing those 
men whose devout sympathies are above tepidity. Hood 
ridicules the man who would give another man black eyes 
for being blind, but surely the folly of the Anglican 
far exceeds that of Hood's fool, for he attacks the long- 
sighted person because he is not of as narrow a vision as 
himself; he is the corn-crake assaulting the lark because 
it dares to soar above the ooze and fen, 

If the principle of development be denied, only two 
theories remain on which any positive scheme of Christian 
doctrine can be maintained ; first, that laid down by Chil- 



364 CHRISTIANITY 



lingwortli, and accepted in name, but rejected in practice, 
by nearly all Protestant communities, " The Bible, and the 
Bible only, the religion of Protestants." 

The idea of the gradual unfolding of doctrine, ritual, and 
religious life, has been rejected as repugnant to the prin- 
ciples of Christianity, and Protestants assume that the 
Bible contains a complete code of faith and morals ; that it 
teaches all things necessary to salvation, as well as all laws 
and commandments respecting our duty to God and man, 
which we are required to obey. That we are to believe 
nothing which is not found in the Bible explicitly laid 
down, and that it is to be the rigid rule of all our conduct, 
and of our worship of God. 

Thus the Westminster Confession, drawn up by English 
and Scotch Presbyterians, has the following : — " The whole 
counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own 
glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly 
set down in Scripture, or, by good and necessary conse- 
quence, may be deduced from Scriptxu'e, unto which nothing, 
at any time, is to be added, whether by new revelations of 
the Spirit or traditions of men." Again : — " The Supreme 
Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be 
determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient 
writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be 
examined, and on whose sentence we are to rest, can be no 
other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture." The 
Anglican article is almost as strongly worded : — " Holy 
Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation : so 
that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved 
thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be 
believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite 
or necessary to salvation." An article this which falls like 
Goliath by its own sword, for it is impossible to prove the 



DEVELOPMENT 365 



all-sufficiency of Holy Scripture frora itself. Nowhere do 
we find that the Bible makes profession that it contains 
the whole faith ; that it, and it alone, is the deposit of the 
faith of the whole Church. Had it been so, we sliould 
have found it laid down in precise terms in the Scripture. 
But nowhere does the Bible profess to give us the faith, 
nor is there a word to shew us that Christ commissioned 
His apostles to write books to contain the faith as author- 
ized standards of doctrine. 

"We might smile at all this as a harmless excess of 
belief," writes Mr. Blenkinsopp, " as an exaggerated rever- 
ence for the Bible, which it is a pity to disturb ; but, 
unfortunately, it is attended by serious consequences ; nay, 
we may say, that it is the fruitful parent of much heresy, 
and, what may seem impossible, of very much actual un- 
belief Men who stake their whole faith on the letters of 
a book, on the exact words used, on the infallibility of the 
writer, must necessarily have their faith shaken when 
they see manifest differences and apparent contradictions 
between the writers, or in their writings. Equally so when 
those writers shew themselves to have been ignorant of 
physical science. Thus, when the facts which modern 
investigation opens out to us seem to prove that it is im- 
possible that the six Mosaic days were days of twenty-four 
hours' duration, there are some who straightway conclude 
that this discovery disproves the truth of the whole narra- 
tive of Moses in the book of Genesis, and proves that the 
writer was not inspired ; in other words, that the idea of 
inspiration implies a knowledge of all human sciences, as 
Avell as of divine things ; the inspired man being so taught 
and guided by the Spirit of God, that lie is acquainted 
with the causes which produce natural phenomena ; or at 
least, that the inspiring Spirit will preserve him from 



366 CHRISTIANITY 



making any mistake in his statement of facts, or in matters 
connected with his subject." ^ 

The Church, though she has used Scripture as a mine, 
has never defined inspiration, nor has she ever aiSrmed 
that the Bible is inspired. If to Scripture — supposing it 
to form an integral part of the Christian system — we apply 
the law of the Incarnation, we shall be obliged to aUow 
that it will have the outward, material side, and the inward, 
spiritual side, the latter infallible, the former fallible and 
imperfect. Th us Scripture wiU be infallible as a moral, spiri- 
tual guide, but that it will be full of imperfections, gross- 
ness, trivialities, and mistakes is also true. With Scrip- 
ture it will be as with the priest; the priest in all that is 
sacramental is infallible, his sacramental acts are spiritually 
perfect, but all that is of himself is full of imperfection, 
error, and evil. 

It is so with the Church. 

The Church has a divine and a human part indivisibly 
united. Tlie divine constitutes that which is infallible and 
eternally inerrable in the Church ; and the human is fal- 
lible and errable. 

In every modification of the law of the Incarnation there 
must be two factors, the earthly and the divine. Thus 
Scripture has its human side, and is errable on all that 
which is not spiritual. 

The other theory admits the principle of development, 
but seeks to limit its operation to the early ages. Accord- 
ing to this view, we ought to accept not only the Bible, but 
the Catholic creeds, together with the dogmatic decrees of 
the earlier Councils, but to reject as innovations aU later 
developments. 

^ The Doctrine of Development. London, 1869, p. 25. 



DEVELOPMENT 367 



But the question at once occurs, Where is the line to be 
drawn ? If development be allowed up to a certain point, 
why is it denied beyond that point ? On what autliority 
is that point to be fixed at the third or the fourth century? 

As a matter of fact, tlie process of development is ap- 
parent in the Church and in the Bible. The Psalms of 
David are an advance on Mosaism, the Prophets on the 
Psalms, and the Apocrypha on the Prophets. And in the 
New Testament the fourth Gospel and the Epistles of S. 
Paul are developments of the synoptical gospels. The 
writings of the last Evangelist differ materially from those 
of his predecessors. His Gospel has a distinct character 
and individuality ; it treats of the Incarnation under a new 
aspect. The other Evangelists are possessed with the facts 
of the Nativity, the Purification, the Passion, &c., and they 
narrate the events as historical facts. But in S. John's 
Gospel the narrative is omitted, and we have in its place 
theological dogma : — " In the beginning was the Word, and 
the Word was with God, and the W^ord was God. All 
things were made by Him ; and without Him was not any 
thing made. In Him was life ; and the life was the light of 
men." Here we have a string of theological dogmas of the 
Incarnation ; no history, but doctrine. There was a growtli 
of mind; an historical fact expanded into a theological truth, 
to suit the enlarged spiritual apprehension of the Church. 

AVhen S. Paul wrote, " I delivered unto you first of all 
that which I also received, how that Christ died for our 
sins, according to the Scriptures ; that He was buried, and 
that He rose again the tliird day, according to the Scrip- 
tures," his confession of faith enunciated only the bare 
facts of the Incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ, 
and left untouched all the deeper mysteries of the Holy 
Trinity, the Atonement, and the-like. The infant Church 



368 CHRISTIANITY 



was not prepared for such statements; their hour was not 
yet come. They were later developments, born in due time, 
not accretions, but outgrowths from the facts laid down. 

At first the Apostles were ignorant of one of the first 
necessities of the Incarnation, that the Gospel should be 
made universal ; for seven years at least they confined their 
labours to the Jews, and it was only when S. Peter and S. 
Paul broke the ring, that they acquiesced in the evangeliza- 
tion of the Gentiles. S. Paul speaks of the admission of 
the Gentiles as one of those things not at first known, but 
afterwards revealed, and still to be regarded as a mystery, 
an " economy of the grace of God."^ 

The comparatively short time which elapsed between the 
writing of the first book of the New Testament and the 
last, gives but little time for any great development to 
appear ; but it is not a little remarkable, as has been shewn 
in a former chapter, that the grasp of some of the funda- 
mental doctrines of the Christian faith by men of the 
mental calibre of S. Paul was somewhat uncertain. 

There is nothing of theological science in the writings 
composing the New Testament, if, perhaps, we except the 
fourth Gospel. We find the writers penetrated with con- 
viction as to the verity of certain facts, but as to the 
scheme of Eedemption they seem not to have thought it 
out. All truths were there, but in suspension, to be pre- 
cipitated into dogmatic formuhe at a later date. The faith 
of the early Christians ,was confined to certain facts, on 
which certain hopes M^ere built up. That was probably 
enough for tlieir age, but it was not enough when Chris- 
tianity swelled above the ignorant and poor, and overflowed 
the intellects of the most cultivated men of the day. 

^ BleukLiisopp. Tlii.s writer, in a treatise well deserving of perusal, 
traces tlie gradual expansion of doctrine in the Old and New Testaments, 
and in the Chnrch. 



DE VEL 0PM ENT 369 



Then we find a gradual unfolding of doctrine, logically 
deduced from the premisses held by the first Christians and 
recorded in the New Testament ; and in the Middle Ages 
theology was organized into a system, intellectual and 
philosophical. 

What was drawn out of the primary dogmas followed as 
rigidly as do all the results arrived at by astronomers from 
the doctrine of gravitation. 

If we take the decrees of the General Councils fur the 
first seven centuries, we see the system gradually emerging 
from the fog which had enveloped it, its outlines becoming 
more distinct, its features more pronounced, and its colours 
more vivid. 

The Council of Mcaja (a.d. 325) aftirmed the Son to be 
of the same substance as the Fatlier. The Arians entangled 
in the mist, could not see that without the distinct affirma- 
tion of the divinity of Christ, Christianity was neither a 
religion nor a philosophy. 

Constantinople (381) confirmed the doctrine of Nicsea, 
and affirmed that the Holy Ghost was of the same substance 
as the Father and the Son, thus developing into distinct- 
ness the dogma of the Trinity. 

Ephesus (431) affirmed that the person of Christ was 
one, but that in His one person there were two natures ; 
condemning Ncstorius, who taught that Christ was so far 
two persons, that He was not born of the Virgin Mary as 
God, but only as man. To affirm more clearly the Catho- 
lic fiiith, it confirmed the title Theotokos, mother of God, 
to the blessed Virgin. It is evident to us, that it is 
essential to the Catholic system tliat the double nature 
should be distinctly recognized, for if one nature be sup- 
planted by the other, or suppressed by tlie other, the whole 

significance of the Incarnation disappears. 

2 a 



370 CHRISTIANITY 



Clialcedon {VSV) re-affirmed that our Lord had two 
natures iu one person. 

The second of Constantinople (553) confirmed the pre- 
ceding Councils, and affirmed in still plainer language the 
dogmas of the Trinity and the motherhood of the blessed 
Virgin. 

The third of Constantinople (680) affirmed tliat there 
were in Christ two natural wills, and that there were two 
modes of operation, without separation or confusion. In 
Him the divine Avill was one, and the human will was 
free, without which there would have been no real person- 
ality in His human nature. 

And is it not in strict analogy with all God's dealings 
with man, that He should give the ffict, and leave it to 
develop its consequences by a slow process of evolution ? 
The seed takes time to grow, the egg to hatch, tlie larva to 
change into the imago. The fact of gravitation having 
been established, years passed before the chain of conse- 
quences deducible from it was unrolled. The fact of the 
circulation of the blood was ascertained, and the results of 
that discovery are not complete yet. The existence of 
electricity has been proved, but we have not as yet attained 
to all the modifications to be effected thereby. 

The question of Development is the question whether 
the Incarnation be a dead and dry historical fact, or whether 
it be a living reality. If it be a fact full of energy, its 
significance was not exhausted in the first centmy of the 
Christian era. If it be a divine reality, it must partake in 
the divine characteristics, and be infinite in its significance, 
as the world, another divine reality, is infinite in its mys- 
teries. In a century we may exhaust the science of 
geology, because that is the science of a dead deposit ; 1 )ut 

1 Union Review, 1869 j Art. xxv. Development, p. 493. 



DE VELOPMEN T 37 1 



physical science Avill never be run out ; for it deals with 
forces endlessly undergoing modifications, and with living 
beings ever manifesting fresh evidence of the infinity of 
God's thoughts. That the great doctrine of the Incarnation 
shall be ever fertile, and that the limited mind of man shall 
never exhaust the mysteries involved in it is what w^e must 
expect, if it be a divine fact. The dogma of Development 
is nothing other than this, the assertion that one generation 
cannot empty that great mystery, the Incarnation, of all 
its contents, but that it is an inexhaustible source adapted 
to all generations, and full of truths which the world in all 
its generations will not use up, but w^hich it will draw from 
in an unfailing supply to meet every contingency and to 
satisfy every candid inquiry. 

And as there has been a development of doctrine from 
the hypothesis of the Incarnation, there have been other 
developments out of it, as it has been applied to the sense 
of the beautiful, and to the life of man. Christian art is 
as much a working out of the dogma of the Incarnation as 
is Catholic theology. 

If in Christ the mind is to find intellectual pabulum, 
science ensues. If in Christ the moral sense is to find its 
law, moral theology results. If in Christ the aesthetic taste 
is to find its satisfaction, Christian art is a necessary con- 
sequence. And if Christ be not the satisfaction of art as 
well as of reason and morality. He is not the Ideal Man ; 
and the Incarnation is shorn of at least one of its rays. 

In the early ages of the Church, when she lived in per- 
secution, such a develo]3ment was impossible. There was 
little room, and less inclination, for display of art ; and yet 
we find rude symbols and representations of the mysteries 
of the faith traced on the walls of the Catacombs, But 



372 CHRISTIANITY 



when the feeble folk who had worshipped nndergrouud 
emerged into light, and built cluirches, immediately Chris- 
tianity flowed through the channel of art, budded and 
bloomed into a splendour to which the heathen world 
never attained. Pictures, as well as other ornaments, were 
recognized as proper adjuncts to public worship ; and the 
second Council of Mcea (786) formally acknowledged their 
propriety ; and art became the handmaid of religion. 

So also has there been a development in the religions 
appreciation of nature. The heathen mind scarcely saw 
the beauty of a landscape, and had little love for the 
myriad forms of life which are the glory of our world. 
This has been observed by Humboldt in his " Cosmos," and 
Mr. Euskin has traced with his delicate pen the gradual 
development of the sense of the beautiful through the 
Middle Ages down to our own time. It is true that the 
Greek perceived the exquisite loveliness of the human 
form, l)ut there is little trace in the Greek poets and 
sculptors of perception of the beauty of the flower, of the 
insect, the beast, and, above all, of the great mountain 
forms. 

Christ, in touching nature, has spiritualized it. Its 
beauty is music to the heart ; but only slowly has appreci- 
ation of it broken upon man's soul, filling it with joy and 
gladness. In their respective lines Turner and Tennyson 
are Christian developments, like Erwin von Steinbach and 
Allan of Walsingham in sacred art, Handel and Mozart in 
music, and as S. Thomas Aquinas and S. Augustine in tlie 
line of theology. 

So also has there been a development of devotional feel- 
ing. The early Christians seem to us stern, dauntless 
athletes ; the ancient hymns of the Church are rugged, the 
ancient prayers grave and massive ; in tlie writings of the 



DEVELOPMENT 373 



early doctors tliere is fire and dignity, and only here and 
there does the lambent liame of tenderness burn with a 
steady glow. Yet as time passes, the whole Christian 
character softens and sweetens, the eagle becomes a dove, 
the lion becomes a lamb. S. Bernard utters his " melli- 
fluous" strains, and 8. Thomas a Ivempis writes his book of 
the heart ; to the grim twilight of a Norman nave buds out 
a choir of florid Gothic, glittering with painted light ; to 
the severe Byzantine figures stiffly standing on golden 
grounds succeeds the ease and grace of Eaphael's pictures ; 
to the stern Gregorian modes, follow music's laughter in 
Mozart and Eossini, 

What again is that scientific enthusiasm which animates 
our age, but another development of the Incarnation ? The 
love of nature has drawn man to it, the belief in law has 
led him to study it. 

There is one more development to which I must allude, 
one which is beginning, and which is destined to fulfil its 
course, after centuries of repression : I mean, the develop- 
ment of pure constitutionalism, the application of the 
dogma of the Incarnation to the relations of man to man 
in society. 

If that development should take place, with denial of 
the dogma to which it owes all, it will fail ; for it will be 
without locus standi, and it will resolve itself into the 
autocracy of Force, 

In concluding, I must signalize the limits of legitimate 
development. 

A development in the Catholic faith is only legitimate 
Avhen it is logically drawn from the dogma of the Incarnation; 

If it contradict another dogma, it cannot be true ; it is 
an accretion, not an evolution ; 



374 CHRISTIANITY 



It must coincide with all tlie otlier dogmas, so as to form 
a chain of connected links. 

Let us take and test an opinion which a party in the 
Church are endeavouring to erect into a dogma, — Papal 
Infallibility. Is this a logical deduction from the Incarna- 
tion, and does it coincide with other dogmas ? 

It does neither. 

Individually, no member of the Church is infallible ; the 
apostles themselves speaking separately were liable to error. 
Individually they formed wrong judgments on matters con- 
cerning the will of God, and also erred in conduct. S. 
Peter was wrong, and so was S. Barnabas, when they re- 
fused to communicate with the Gentile converts, and were 
rebuked for it by S. Paul.i Either S. Paul or S. Barnabas 
was wrong in the matter of taking Mark with them.^ Several 
of them were mistaken about the nearness of our Lord's 
second coming. 

In what way then is the Church infallible ? When it 
speaks in General Council. .That is, when the whole 
circle of the Church utters its voice ; for the voice of the 
whole body is the voice of Christ. Such is the Catholic 
dogma. If tliis be tampered with, the catholicity of the 
Church is broken, and the Church resolves itself into a 
sect, revolving about a new centre. Let any man assume 
to be infallible, and he constitutes himself the centre of the 
Church, and by tliat act displaces Christ ; — by his act he 
denies Christ, and such a denial is a veritable apostasy. Now 
this is precisely what every Protestant does who assumes 
his own" private judgment to be the measure of universal 
truth. He becomes an autotheist, and sets himself against 
God. The Bishop of Eome sets himself up to be the oracle 
of truth, and thereby Ire breaks with Cathohcity. 

1 Gal. ii. 11. 2 ^^cts xv. 39. 



DE VEL PM ENT 375 



As Christ alone is the soul, and tlie Church is the 
material body, He alone can be the centre whence all 
truths radiate, and the whole truth can only be attained 
by the concurrence of the universal Church. 

In concludinc^ this volume, I feel that much that might 
have been said has been left unsaid, tliat points of Catholic 
doctrine have been left wholly unnoticed, and practical 
developments have been passed over without allusion. 

I do not pretend to have done more than apply the Hegel- 
ian method to tlie rudiments of Christianity, and to establish 
the rationale of its fundamental doctrine, the Incarnation. 

The work must be carried out by other and abler hands. 
If I have indicated a line of reasoning remarkable for its 
fecundity when applied to Christianity, I am satisfied. 
That even those who accept my preliminary hypothesis 
will follow me through the consequences which logically 
How from it, I think is not always to be looked for. People 
shrink from consequences, because tliey fear them, and 
often they are content to stand in an irrational position, 
because they have not tlie courage to carry out what they 
conscientiously believe to be right. 

But this is not altoo-ether their fault. It is a character- 

O 

istic of human nature. Apparently men's minds require 
long training before they can digest new truths. Greek 
anthropotheism and G-reek philosophy were conditions of 
mind quite as necessary to ensure ultimate reception of 
Christianity, as was Jewish monotheism. 

There is a necessity laid on the minds of generations of 
men to work out such propositions as they perceive to be 
true, to their ulterior consequences, before they are prepared 
to give attention to new propositions. Jewdom had elabo- 
rated monotheism into an exclusive system, walling the 



576 CHRISTIANITY 



son of Abraham off eternally from the Gentile, bnt supply- 
ing him with an easy, handy law of right and wrong. 
Greek polytheism had become delirious, and no man 
attended to its ravings, and yet it spoke words of truth 
when it declared that man to love God must love one like 
to himself. Greek philosophy had spent its energy, and it 
rested, listening for a new word of truth. 

When the Gloria in excelsis smote on the classic ear, life 
and activity returned to exhausted thought. But only 
little by little did tlie full significance of that strain 
impress itself on the minds of men. 

" In terris pax;" how? By the establishment of right on 
a foundation firmer than the eternal mountains ; by making 
the emancipation of man from the law of violence ob- 
ligatory ; by making authority a prolongation of right only, 
to be used for the preservation to each man of the liberty 
to expand and ripen, physically, intellectually, and morally. 
There will be an end to strife and heartburnings when the 
rights of each are recognized by all, and authority is re- 
duced to the protection of these rights. 

When Constantine and his successors extended their 
hands to the Churcli to unite moral authority with so- 
vereignty, a fatal error was committed; for sovereignty 
reposes on furce, and is the facidty of doing wrong with 
impunity, that is of constraining men to surrender their 
rights, of curtailing their liberties, of dwarfing their growth. 

The moral authority of the Church faded before the 
authority of force. The Crown placed its sword at the 
service of the mitre, and it was employed to cut off the 
tallest poppies in the garden of the Church, to suppress 
originality and level individuality. Activity was permitted 
in two channels only, mysticism and Cliristian art. To this 
therefore we owe the Divina Commedia, the Imitatio Christi 



DEVELOPMENT yn 



Cliartres Cathedral, liapliael's jMadoiiua del Sisto, and the 
strains of Palestriua. So that even that cloud had its 
silver lining. 

Medicxval temporal autocracy was a mighty wrong. The 
governed were the chattels of their sovereign, to be im- 
prisoned, driven to ^^'ar, impoverished, sold, made to believe 
or disbelieve at the caprice of a monarch. It was a sacrilege 
on the divine rights of man. Its existence, linked as it was 
to the Church, forced into life another wrong, — the Papacy 
set up as a counterpoise to the temporal power. 

Then indeed the bondage of men was complete, the State 
violated the right of man to personal independence, and the 
Church turned the key on his right to intellectual freedom. 

The Avork obligatory on every man sent into the world 
could not be done; he was not free in body, in mind, and in 
soul, to accomplish his destiny, — to make that liberty which 
is his potentially become his own effectually. " The initia- 
tion of all wise and noble things comes, and must come, 
from the individual," says Mr. Mill. The secret of well- 
being to the human race is the recognition of unity and 
individuality, in. other words, of authority and of right. 
Unity without due scope for the man to stretch and grow 
dies into uniformity ; and individuality, without recogni- 
tion of solidarity, dashes itself to pieces in anarchy. The 
problem for States and Churches to work out is the pre- 
servation of unity and the particularization of the individual, 
the holding of authority and liberty in equilibrium. 

Medievalism did not attempt to solve this problem, it 
flung itself headlong into the negation of liberty and the 
falsification of authority. It adopted the principle of 
centralization, which is ruinous to the vitality of a State 
or of a Church. By concentration of power at the head 
the members were left impotent. The general activity 



378 CHRISTIANITY 



of the body gathered up at one pomt languished at the 
extremities. 

The Eeformation ^yas the explosion of individuality. It 
had a double aspect, it was the assertion of the rights 
of man to think freely and to act independently. The 
second phase, constitutionalism, scarcely shewed above 
the surface in the sixteenth century, but it has been slowly 
emerging since ; it is not as yet apprehended everywhere, 
it is acted upon as yet scarce anywhere. 

The Church had been ramming dogmas down men's 
throats, as at Strasbourg they fatten geese, and they could 
bear it no longer. " We will eat," they said, " as suits our 
digestions and the capacity of our stomachs." 

The Eeformation was the proclamation of a grand truth, 
a truth necessary to flare into prominence, for Europe was 
rapidly becoming Chinese in thought and belief, and settling 
into a uniform grey, without strong shadows and without 
clear light. Had the Eeformers rested in the establishment 
of the authority of private judgment to determine for each 
man the measure of truth adapted to his own capacity, 
they would have earned the lasting gratitude of all men. 
But unfortunately they mixed their grain of truth with 
a grain of error. They erected individual judgment, which 
the Church had practically denied, into an authority ex- 
cluding all other truths, and especially that one which is 
paramount, — the correlation of truths. They authorized 
each man to apply his own judgment to the judgments of 
every one else, and to hack and hew away at all appreciations 
in excess of his own scant measure, in the same spirit as 
that in which the papacy had pulled at every single faith 
to stretch it to embrace that measure of excess it authorized 
and enforced. They constituted every man an autotheist, 
the master of truth, and therefore sovereign over God. 



DEVELOPMENT 379 



They placed liim on the slip which must inevitably launch 
him into blank atlieism, and wrote up for him as his motto 
the maxim of Olden-Barneveld, " Nil scire tutissima jSdes." 

It is not therefore matter of surprise if Protestantism 
should have been the fertile mother of doubt, discord, and 
division ; for the proclamation of half a truth as a whole 
truth is the enunciation of error, and the admission of error 
is the introduction of discord. 

Protestantism has thrust asunder, to their mutual exclu- 
sion, those three aspects of absolute truth which God has 
joined together — Religion, Morality, and Art, in other 
words the True, the Good, and the Beautiful ; and yet, as 
Longfellow sings, — 

" These are the three great chords of might, 
Aud he whose ear is tuned aright 
Will hear no discord in the three, 
But the most perfect harmony." 

As a power emancipating Individuality it is dead. Tlie 
explosion of the Reformation has buried it under a bed 
of scoria, and has produced an atmosphere stifling to 
originality. This may seem paradoxical, for the Reforma- 
tion opened a vent to individualism. Nevertheless the 
results of the eruption have proved fatal to its develop- 
ment ; for this reason, private judgment, instead of being 
given its true function, has been turned into a weapon 
wherewith every man was authorized to kill all originality 
except his own. 

Public opinion, which is the consensus of the judgments 
of the multitude, has been erected into the sovereign 
standard of all that is true, good, and beautiful. And as 
the most inferior and uncultivated estimate is necessarily 
the most common, the lowest and rudest ideas on truth, 
virtue and beauty have become the dominant judgment. 



3 So CHRISTIANITY 



The opinion of the many being opposed to that of the 
original genius, it resists it and tramples it under foot ; and, 
as a matter of practical experience, we know that public 
opinion has proved a far more powerful engine tlian spiritual 
or temporal autocracy for grinding all men into one dead, 
drear level. Art must be vuloar, (^oodness must be com- 
mon-place, truth must be Tupperish — allow me the word, 
— or public opinion will not tolerate it. A thousand 
hands are lifted against the man who would raise art out 
of the gutter, teach a goodness higher than respectability, 
and declare that the horizon of the eagle is not that of the 
l:)adger. " Already," says Mr. Mill, " energetic characters on 
any large scale are becoming merely traditional." Tor that 
we must thank Protestant civilization. He who has 
the audacity to think for himself, and to have larger 
sypipathies, or a deeper heart than Jack, Tom, and Harry, 
is given a nickname and is hissSd off the stage. Literary 
and art criticism have fallen into the hands of the clique. 
Conventionality is the rigid norm to wliich every truth, 
right action, and work of art must be fitted; and minds 
and hearts must be bound with more cruel fetters than 
those forged by the slave-masters of imperial Eome ; Avhilst 
ridicule — a torture more brutal than the rack^is applied 
by every clown to enforce the sentence of modern vulgarism 
against whatever is too noble for its pettiness, too true for 
its hollowness, and too beautiful for its bestiality. 

To the lowest and grossest is committed the function to 
roar down the voice that rises in -^yitness of better things, 
to drag down the hand stretched out to hio-her things, to 
put out the eyes that look up to purer things. Has not 
each coarse, foul-minded man, each mean-spirited man, 
become an Esau whose hand may be against every one 



who differs from himself ? What is tlie vukar laughter 



DEVELOPMENT 38 1 



at the earnest work (jf au eutliusiast Lut an expression 
of the principle of belligerent private judgment ? Hodge 
passes sentence on Holman Hunt's Light of the World 
with sublime self-satisfaction, decides that Mendelssohn's 
songs without words are nothing to " Paddle your own 
Canoe," and haw-haws over " The Holy Grail " as a parcel 
of foUy. 

In religion it is precisely the same. The most ignorant, 
prejudiced, and stupid are the judges who decide what 
dogmas are true and to be tolerated, and what are false 
. and to be scouted. Those who would raise the pitch of 
morality, reunite long dissevered beauty and religion, and 
teach men that there are truths half an inch above the top 
of the rut in wluch they themselves stagnate, are hooted 
down, as alienating the people from religion. The great 
goddess Vulgarity, to which so many modern nations bow 
down and give worship, has spoken and denounced eccen- 
tricity, originality and individuality, and the gifted artist, 
the pure moralist, and the profound theologian, \\\\o will 
not conform, are cast into the fiery furnace. It is quite 
true that alienation is taking place ; — Viut it is an alienation 
from society of those who should be the strength of the 
nation, the higher intellects, the purer hearts, and the 
most earnest souls, who will not exjiose their treasures 
to the rude stare and blatant scorn of a kakistocracy. 

And what of the future ? 

Protestantism has disintegrated into dust. 

Eomanism is powerless, rigidified by centralization. 

Protestantism is the negation of unity, Eomanism is the 
negation of individualism. No half truth will ever re- 
conquer the world. 

If Christianity is to recover lost ground, it ^^•ill be l)y 



J 



82 CHRISTIANITY 



bringing together those truths which have been denied 
by Protestantism on one hand, and by Popery on the 
other. 

If snch an union be not effected, and that speedily, we 
must despair for individualism, and therefore for the future 
of society which depends on its recognition. 

Another reformation is needed, to pluck up indi^ddualism 
by the liair from the depths to which it has sunk. To 
effect this Catholicism is alone caj)able ; but it must 
first rid itself of the spiritual autocracy of the Eoman 
Pontiff. 

Eome has its lesson to learn, and so has England. Too 
long has the State exercised control over religion; for 
if there be a God, to control religion is to control God 
in His action on the consciences of men, and it is there- 
fore a sacrilege. Fortunately the exercise of this control 
of late years has been so outrageous in its injustice as 
to have opened the eyes of Churchmen to the immorality 
of the system. The conduct of government lias greatly 
influenced the clergy and laity, and has nearly obliterated 
the old Tory High Church opinions. No body of men 
was at one time more loyal, more uniformly consistent 
in upholding the dignity of the Crov/n, than the old High 
Church clergy. Now all is changed. The prime ministers 
have hitherto refused to listen to any suggestions, or even 
direct appeals to increase the efficiency of the Church. 
Men have been appointed to the episcopate who were 
known to be obnoxious to large numbers of the clergy and 
laity of England ; in fact, the ministry of the day has 
seemed often to go out of its way to have the gratification 
of vexing the consciences of the devout. The Supreme 
Court to judge ecclesiastical cases, is a tribunal incom- 
petent, from its partizanship and its vindictiveness to 



DEVELOPMENT 383 



command respect and to exact compliance ; nevertheless 
it has served a good turn in educating the Church I3arty 
to distinguish between responsibility to God and an 
obedience of constraint to a tribunal assumincf, without 
authority from God, to legislate on religion. 

The High Churchman of to-day is indifferent whether 
England continue a monarchy or become a republic, but 
he is most desirous to have the anomaly of an union 
between Church and State, which can be only vexatious 
to the latter and injurious to the former, severed for good 
and aye. 

It is somewliat remarkable that the rapid religious 
revival of tliis day should coincide with the spread of 
truer feeling on the constitution of government. Men 
are beginning to see tliat hereditary sovereignty is a relic 
of meditevalism, that autocracy is an immorality, and that 
the source of authority is in tlie people, not in the 
Crown. In lilce manner men are learning that the Crown 
has no divine right to meddle in the relations between 
man and God, to sanction some and to forbid others. 

What M. de Tocqueville says of the spread of democracy 
may be applied to the development of religious life and 
advance in Catholic faith, which is so prominent a feature 
of the Church to-day. " It possesses all the characteristics 
of a Divine decree ; it is universal, it is durable, it con- 
stantly eludes all human interference ; and all events, as 
well as all men, contribute to its progress. The various 
occurrences of national existence have everywliere turned 
to its advantage : all men have aided it l:»y their exertions ; 
those who have intentionally laboured in its cause, and 
those who have served it unawares ; those who have 
fought for it, and those who have declared themselves its 
opponents — have all been driven along in the same track, 



3S4 CHRISTIANITY 



have all laboured to one end, some ignorantly, and some 
unwillingly ; all have been blind instruments in the hand 
of God." 

When the Eoman Church has succeeded in shaking off 
the nightmare of the Papacy, and the Anglican Church 
has accepted the full complement of Catholic truth, or has 
at least taught its members not to carp at truths they 
cannot see, we ma}^ hope that, with the reunion of Chris- 
tendom, faith in the God-Man will once more become 
a mighty plastic power moulding society into perfect 
relations, and projecting individuality into vivid creative- 
ness. The Church will then absorb the sects. There are 
men, as there are beasts, who can only see in twilight ; the 
existence of sects is a proof that some souls can only 
accept a pinch, a grain, a scruple of truth. These can 
all find place in the Catholic Church of the future, if they 
will admit that their own crude notions are not the total 
of all truth, that grey dusk is not blazing noonday. 

The Eoman Churcli recognizes a distinction between 
truths which a Catholic must hold explicitly and those 
which he must hold implicitly. To the former category 
belong the fundamental dogmas of the existence of God, 
the Creation, the Incarnation, &c., wdiilst to the latter 
belong those doctrines which have been deduced logically 
and rigorously therefrom. In other words, she bids her 
more ignorant children not oppose what they themselves 
do not understand, — an excellent rule, one it would be 
well if the Anglican Church were to formulate in place 
of some of her articles of religion, which are a discharge 
that would prove more disastrous were it not levelled, 
accidentally or purposely, wlio can say ? over the heads of 
the enemy, so as to explode in the air, making much noise, 
but doing little damage. 



DEVELOPMENT 385 



That the future will see the reunion of the Anglican 
and Eoman Churches, not the absorption of one into the 
other, and of both with the Oriental Church, and next 
in order the absorption into the visible communion of all 
that is good and true in the sects, I think it is impossible 
to doubt. Eapidly the difference between Anglicans and 
Eomans is ceasing to be one of doctrine, and resolving 
itself into one of constitutionalism versus absolutism. 
Another Pius IX. will suffice to burst the bubble of Papal 
autocrapy, and then the barrier to the reunion of Chris- 
tendom is prostrate. 

In the meantime we have one of the hardest of lessons 
to learn, — toleration ; toleration of faiths more rudimentary 
and imperfect than our own, and of faiths more highly 
organized and complete tlian our own. The Eoman 
Church has attempted to exterminate tlie grub-beliefs, 
and Protestants have waged war against butterfly- 
creeds ; and yet the larva contains the imago. 

Unity is attainable either by centralization, or by cor- 
poration. The first is the unity of the army. In this 
unity every member is a piece of mechanism rather than 
a man. He has no will or thought of his own. His inde- 
pendence is surrendered. This unity is purely artificial, 
and it can only be maintained by force. The welfare of 
the body depends not on the elements of activity in its 
members, but on the abilities of the head. The second is 
the unity arising naturally and spontaneously from the 
necessities of social life. It is the only one which de- 
velopes the capabilities of each member of the corporation, 
and which makes the whole body partake in tlie advantages 
of each. 

The difference between Eome and England is in the 
sort of unity requisite for the Church. The Anglican 



2 B 



386 CHRISTIANITY 



theory, which is simply that of the Primitive Church, 
and of the Orthodox Church of the East, is proving itself 
to he both sound and feasible. The former theory has 
been abandoned, or will be before long, by most civilized 
nations, in its application to their political institutions; 
for it has been found to be mischievous as well as immoral. 
It has proved equally mischievous and immoral in its 
application to spiritual societies. 

The Church of England has developed into a federation 
of independent bodies, each perfectly autonomous, and 
yet all forming one great communion. If the Church 
be the organized social body of the invisible ideal, the 
God-Man, and be permeated by His energizing spirit, it is 
impossible to doubt that without in the smallest degree 
trenching on the individual freedom of each member, the 
unity of the body may be maintained indissolubly. 

The spread of the Anglican communion, hampered as 
it is with State interference, and gangrened with Pro- 
testant error, is a token to us Avhat the whole Church 
miaht effect if united on a constitutional basis, and 
animated with the Catholic spirit of toleration. 

But, at the same time, undeniably the Church of Eome 
has done her utmost to prevent the possibility of recon- 
ciliation. She has organized herself into the most perfect 
military order, and has placed the spiritual lives of her 
children unconditionally in the Pope's hands. She can no 
longer pretend to be a city (civitas) at unity in itself, but 
is an army kept in order by artificial drill. She is a 
kingdom governed without a constitution, at the caprice of 
an irresponsible despot. 

That Pius IX., or a future Pope, in the madness of 
spiritual pride, will lead the Church of Eome into a Caudine 
Forks, whence there is no escape except by corporate 



DEVELOPMENT 387 



humiliation, is our only hope. There is such a tiling as 
corporate repentance as well as individual repentance, just 
as there is corporate pride as well as spiritual pride. "We 
have not been exempt from pride ourselves, — pride in our 
insularity, in our Anglicanism, in our via media, or session 
between two stools ; but this pride has yielded greatly, 
and as a Church we are not far from smiting on our breasts 
and proclaiming ourselves sinners. But Eome has ex- 
hibited no trace of this repentant spirit. She justifies 
herself for all that is past, — her faults, her crimes, and her 
follies. Perhaps when brought by the present or some 
future Pope into the jaws of a dilemma, from which there 
is no escape, she will have to bow beneath the yoke, and 
then, with shame on her brow, she will not reject the 
embrace of her Oriental and Anglican sisters. 

It was not till the great assembly infallibilized Herod 
that the angel of the Lord smote him, and he became the 
prey of worms. The Papacy has been borne with long, 
through all its errors and crimes, but, may be, the recent 
divinization of the Papal voice will be its final act, pre- 
siding an abject fall. 

On English Catholics the proclamation of the Infallibility 
of the Pope produces a feeling of awe and horror, akin to 
that resulting from the utterance of a blasphemy. It is 
such a bold defiance flung in the face of God, so terribly 
like the boast of the archangel before he was cast into the 
abyss, " I will exalt my throne above the stars of God : I 
will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the 
sides of the north ; I will ascend above the heights of the 
clouds: I will be like the Most High;" that we put our 
hands upon our mouths, and look on expecting the end. 

That some great religious crisis is at hand, few can 
doubt who note the aspect of the sky. That belief in the 



388 ' CHRISTIANITY 



Incarnation, and in the catena of dogmas depending npon 
it, will be rooted out by any amount of corrosive criticism, 
is an iiRfossihility , for that doctrine and all its conse- 
quences are impetrated by the nature of man. The very 
constitution of his mind and heart are to him a gospel of 
the Incarnation, whose witness can never be effaced, a 
testimony to Catholicism whose voice can never be silenced. 
" When I consider the general weakening of moral prin- 
ciples," wrote Le Maistre, " the diversity of opinions, the 
overthrow of sovereignties which were baseless, the im- 
mensity of our needs and the inanity of our means, it 
seems to me that every true philosopher must choose 
between these two hypotheses, — either he must form a 
new religion altogether, or Christianity must be rejuve- 
nated in some extraordinary manner."^ 

" I look," says the same writer in another place, " for 
a memorable revolution, of wijich that which we have 
seen has been only the terriblfe and indispensable pre- 
liminary ;""^ — "a period which will be sacred in the annals 
of the human race," for " everything announces some grand 
unity, towards Avhich we are advancing with mighty 
strides;"^ . . . " some great event which the world univer- 
sally awaits, some immense event in the divine order, 
some third explosion of almighty goodness in behalf of the 
human race."^ 



^ Considerations sur la France, 1797, p. 84. * Du Pape, lib. iv. 

=* Soirees de S. Petersbourg, 2"'' Entretieu. ^ Ibid., 11'"" Ent. 



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